UK and Scottish governments will ‘work together’ on LGBT rights, Tory minister pledges

The UK government’s Scottish Secretary has pledged that he will work with Scotland’s government to make sure LGBT rights reforms are implemented across the UK.

The Scottish National Party held on to power in this month’s Scottish Parliament elections – and the party’s manifesto pledged to bring about reforms on LGBT issues within Scotland, including gender recognition for transgender people.

The UK government’s Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who came out as gay earlier this year, today pledged to work alongside the SNP on equality issues, to make sure that reforms cover the whole of the UK.

Speaking in a wide-ranging address, he urged the devolved Scottish government and UK government to “put our political disagreements aside where we possibly can, and put our energies and talents together to deliver a better future for Scotland.”

On LGBT rights, he said the two Governments “can and should work together”.

He said: “Promoting equal treatment and opportunity for all in society is at the core of what our Governments do. LGB&T equality matters to me personally and it’s an area in which the UK Government has been active.

“I am proud that a Conservative Government introduced marriage for same sex couples, and when the Scottish parliament passed their equal marriage legislation, the UK Government worked with them to deliver the necessary consequential legislation.

He added: “While great strides have been made for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, there is still a long way further to go on the challenges faced by the transgender community.

“Trans equality has been highlighted recently at Westminster by the Women and Equalities Select Committee… I know that Whitehall colleagues are considering the Select Committee’s recommendations carefully and will respond in due course.

“I personally welcome the Scottish National Party’s 2016 manifesto commitment to ‘review and reform gender recognition law, so it’s in line with international best practice for people who are Transgender or Intersex’.”

Mr Mundell said: “I pledge to work closely with the First Minister and her Government, with UK Government colleagues and with the Trans community in Scotland, to ensure that as progress is made in this important area, we can do so in a way which maximises the benefit felt, right across Britain.”