Lord Cashman ‘deeply concerned’ that Tory equalities minister voted against gay marriage

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Labour’s LGBT rights envoy Lord Cashman has said he is “deeply concerned” at the appointment of a Tory MP who voted against same-sex marriage as Minister for Equalities.

Caroline Dinenage, the MP for Gosport, was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron today as the Parliamentary under secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice and the minister for equalities at the Department for Education.

She has since told PinkNews that she is “fully committed to advancing the cause of LGBT equality”, and said she “supports the law on same-sex marriage.”

Speaking to PinkNews this afternoon, Lord Cashman said: “As with the rest of this Government I remain deeply concerned about the protection of minorities and the future of fundamental rights in this country, not least the scrapping of the Human Rights Act and diminishing the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg which has been a staunch defender of LGBTI rights and the rights of others.

“It makes our defence of oppressed minorities in other parts of the world so much harder too,” he continued.

The Conservatives are set to push ahead with plans to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights.

David Cameron – who won a Parliamentary majority last week –had pledged to “once and for all” repeal the Act last year, and his party included the move in its manifesto.

A previous appointment to the equalities office also proved controversial, as now Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan also voted against same-sex marriage.

The Tory MP for Loughborough, who retained her seat in last week’s general election, was controversially appointed to the equalities post in July last year – despite voting against same-sex marriage.

Former Labour MEP, Lord Cashman at the time slammed the appointment of Mrs Morgan, saying it is “deeply worrying”.

Mrs Morgan has since become a supporter of LGBT rights, telling PinkNews in October that she would “probably” vote in favour of same-sex marriage if she could do so again.