Video: Labour MP Ben Bradshaw defends heckling Education Secretary at PinkNews Awards

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Labour MP Ben Bradshaw has defended heckling Nicky Morgan at the PinkNews Awards, saying “she was lucky not to be heckled twice.”

The second annual PinkNews Awards took place in Parliament last night, hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.

Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan gave a speech at the awards saying she had changed her mind on same-sex marriage, and that she was “delighted” that some 14,000 gay and lesbian couples have already married.

During her speech the senior Tory was heckled by Labour MP and former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw. The Exeter MP repeatedly shouted: “You voted against it”. Mrs Morgan – who had failed to mention that she had not voted for the marriage act before the intervention – replied: “I did vote against it yes, absolutely”.

She continued: “But if you are not going to recognise that people actually change their minds then what is the point of this place and this house of democracy and debate?”

Mr Bradshaw’s intervention generated a number of angry scowls from several Conservative MPs.

But Mr Bradshaw defended heckling Mrs Morgan. He told “I felt it was extraordinary for the Secretary of State to make a speech extolling the wonders of the equal marriage act when she voted against it, without even acknowledging the fact.

“She then went on to focus on the central importance of good PSHE education in schools, particularly its role in combating homophobic bullying – yet she and the Tory party are standing in the way of making PSHE mandatory in schools – something all the other parties now support.

“So she was lucky not to be heckled twice.”

Mrs Morgan presented the Community Group of the Year Award, sponsored by BNP Paribas, to both the Warwick Rowers and Human Dignity Trust.

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