David Blunkett: Nicky Morgan ‘should be forgiven’ for voting against equal marriage

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

PinkNews Exclusive
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett today told PinkNews that he is “glad” about Nicky Morgan’s recent U-turn on same-sex marriage.

At the second annual PinkNews awards last week in Parliament, Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan – who voted against same-sex marriage – said she had changed her mind on the issue.

During her speech she was heckled by former Labour minister Ben Bradshaw, who repeatedly shouted “but you voted against it” when she praised the legislation.

Speaking exclusively to PinkNews at an event for BNP Paribas, David Blunkett – who was Education Secretary and Home Secretary under Tony Blair – said Mrs Morgan deserved to be forgiven for her voting record.

He said: “We all have the duty to change our minds when we’re persuaded – I’m glad she did.

“I historically have been persuaded of things. I’ve never been bamboozled or badgered or hectored into changing my mind, but I’ve been persuaded.

“[Mr Bradshaw] should have said ‘you voted against it but are now forgiven’.”

He also praised the government for passing equal marriage, saying: “Incidentally I do actually think that on this part of the social agenda, the Coalition have done a good job.

“It’s revealed incredible fissures particularly within the Tory party which is a shame… but nevertheless it has continued the progress of social reform.”

However, he condemned Tory plans to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, saying: “I think the Human Rights Act was a big step forward.

“It would be a mistake to do that and if they invented a Bill of Rights instead, they would create a whole new can of worms which would have to be worked through in the courts and would probably take us back several decades.”

Mr Blunkett is not seeking re-election next year, standing down after 28 years as an MP, and 45 years as an elected politician.

Part two of our exclusive interview will be released tomorrow.