UKIP and Tory MEPs fail to sign LGBT rights pledge

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Twenty one of the UK’s 73 newly elected MEPs have signed a commitment to advancing LGBT rights over the next five years – but it appears none are from the Conservative or UK Independence Party.

Organised by campaign group ILGA-Europe, the pledge has attracted support from 185 MEPs in the 751-seat strong European Parliament.

Twenty one of the UK’s 73 newly elected MEPs have signed the pledge, but Tory and UKIP names were absent from ILGA-Europe’s list.

Fourteen Labour MEPs signed the pledge, the names of all 3 Green MEPs were included, Catherine Bearder, the Liberal Democrats’ solely elected MEP signed the pledge, Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith was also featured along with Sein Fein’s Martina Anderson and Plaid Cymru’s Jill Evans.

Sunday night’s European election results have been noted for the rise of far-right parties, many of whom are hostile to LGBT rights.

The National Front made unprecedented gains in France.

UKIP, who oppose equal marriage, made a significant breakthrough in Britain.

Commenting on the outcomes of the European Elections 2014, Paulo Côrte-Real, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s executive board, said: “The elections results sent a shock wave across the EU with increased gains of far-right parties in the next European Parliament.

“However, the vast majority of the Parliament continues to be held by political groups that support a European Union of fundamental rights and non-discrimination.

“We will continue working with all parties who fully subscribe to human rights and LGBTI equality agenda to strengthen cross-party support which is more than ever needed to uphold values of dignity, equality and social justice in Europe.”

Gabi Calleja, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s executive board, added: “We thank all the candidates who supported our pledge. The huge number of supporters signals growing cross-party support for LGBTI equality. This said, the real work begins now. Promises now need to be translated into real action.”