Labour’s Lord Cashman slams Tories for ruling out an LGBT rights envoy

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

PinkNews Exclusive
Labour’s LGBT rights envoy Lord Cashman has attacked the Tories for ruling out the creation of a similar role.

In the US, President Obama appointed diplomat Randy Berry to the newly-created post of LGBT rights envoy last month – to lobby for LGBT rights on behalf of the US around the world.

In the UK, the Labour Party has pledged to create an envoy role for peer Michael Cashman – a gay rights activist and former MEP – but this week Tory minister David Lidington ruled out such a move.

Mr Lidington had said: “We do not believe that appointing a UK special envoy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people would be the best way to protect their rights.

Lord Cashman told PinkNews: “This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, as during my fifteen years in the European the Tories predominantly refused to engage in these issues, often invoking the arguments of ‘national sovereignty’.

“Likewise the Tories at home are newly converted to equality issues, and this is further proof of a lack of firm forward looking principles or commitments on human rights issues.

“The message is clear: if you care about equality and human rights, and protecting your rights whilst working or travelling overseas then the Tory party is not for you.

“They are dragging their heels in this issue as they always done. Now is the time to lead: people’s lives depend on it.”

The SNP also supports the creation of an LGBT rights envoy.