Ben Bradshaw questions David Blunkett’s decision to forgive Nicky Morgan over equal marriage

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Ben Bradshaw has questioned fellow Labour MP David Blunkett’s comments that Education Secretary Nicky Morgan should be “forgiven” for voting against same-sex marriage.

Mr Bradshaw, who served as Culture Secretary under Gordon Brown and as a junior minister under Tony Blair, heckled Mrs Morgan at last week’s PinkNews Awards.

The MP told PinkNews afterwards that he had been angered by the senior Tory “extolling the wonders of the equal marriage act” without acknowledging the fact that she had voted against the legislation.

Mr Bradshaw also said Mrs Morgan was lucky “not to be heckled twice” more over her failure to support statutory sex and relationships education (SRE) as part of a programme of Personal, Social, health and economic education (PSHE).

In an exclusive PinkNews interview, David Blunkett, who served under Tony Blair first as education and then Home Secretary, said he was “glad” about Nicky Morgan’s recent u-turn on same-sex marriage.

Mr Blunkett suggested Ben Bradshaw should have rephrased his heckle to: “You voted against it but are now forgiven”.

In response, Mr Bradshaw told PinkNews: “I’m not sure I would use David’s term ‘forgiven’ but I made clear I applaud Mrs Morgan’s u-turn.

“I think if David had actually been at the event he would have found it surprising that Mrs Morgan read out a speech extolling the wonders of equal marriage without acknowledging, until I intervened, that she had opposed the legislation but changed her mind. I’m not a theologian, but my understanding is that forgiveness comes after confession.”

Despite previously calling the legislation a “complete dog’s dinner”, Mr Blunket used his PinkNews interview to explain why he was happy to vote in favour of the reform last year.