MPs and Lords form cross-party group on global LGBT rights

Members of Parliament and peers have formed a new All-Party Parliamentary Group on global LGBT rights – to tackle LGBT issues around the world.

APPGs are informal cross-party groups, which have no official status within Parliament – but dedicate their time to working on specific issues across party lines.

The new APPG, which will include politicians from the Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, Scottish National and Green parties from across the Commons and the Lords – will work to push issues in Parliament relating to LGBT people around the world.

Out Tory MP Nick Herbert will chair the group – while Green MP Caroline Lucas and the SNP’s Stewart Macdonald will serve as the vice chairs.

Other members of the group include Lib Dem peer Baroness Barker, and Labour Party peers Lord Cashman and Lord Collins of Highbury.

Stonewall co-founder Lord Cashman, who Ed Miliband previously named as Labour’s envoy on LGBT rights, said: “All-Party Parliamentary Group on global LGBT rights been formed at Westminster today. Important Cross party group. Lots to do!”

Caroline Lucas tweeted: “Very happy to be elected as a Vice Chair of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Global #LGBT rights.”

Lib Dem peer Baroness Northover added: “Extremely glad that new All Party Parliamentary Group fighting for LGBT rights globally has been set up today – vital work to do.”

There is already a long-standing APPG on HIV and AIDS – which Tory MP Mike Freer was recently elected to chair.

Parliament introduced a Women and Equalities Select Committee for the first time last month, and former equalities minister Maria Miller was elected as chair. Select Committees provide scrutiny of the government’s equality work, and are distinct from APPGs.