Government claims it’s ‘not aware’ of widespread gay cure therapy in the UK, despite Good Morning Britain interview

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The UK government has claiming it’s ‘not aware’ of gay cure therapy in the UK – just a week after a practitioner was interviewed on Good Morning Britain.

It is currently legal for unregulated quacks to attempt gay ‘cure’ therapy in the UK, though the practise is banned on the NHS.

LGBT activists have called for a new law to directly outlaw it, but the government rejected a petition on the issue earlier this year.

In a fresh response to calls for a country-wide ban this week, Conservative Health minister Jackie Doyle-Price claimed there is no evidence of “widespread” gay cure therapy in the UK.

She claimed: “We are not aware of widespread instances of gay conversion therapy happening in the United Kingdom.”

Jackie Doyle-Price (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Ms Doyle-Price’s claim that the government is “not aware” of widespread instances of gay conversion therapy is pretty surprising, just one week after a gay cure therapist was interviewed on Good Morning Britain.

The popular ITV show invited Dr Michael Davidson, who claims he could stop people being gay, on air to discuss his practises.

Dr Davidson explained that he has a thriving business, explaining: “in the last year I’m seeing up to 14 a week, many of them are in therapy for up to two years.”.

The incident attracted attention after host Piers Morgan branded Dr Davidson a “bigot”, while LGBT groups also condemned the segment for giving a platform to incorrect claims about sexuality.

Meanwhile, earlier this year a Liverpool Echo journalist captured undercover footage of a church advocating gay ‘cure’ treatment.

Mr Doyle-Price’s reply said: “This Government does not recognise so-called ‘gay conversion therapy’ as a legitimate treatment. A person’s sexual orientation is not an illness to be cured.

“We have already worked with the main registration and accreditation bodies for psychotherapy and counselling practitioners, including the UK Council for Psychotherapy, to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to put a stop to this practice.

“We are not aware of widespread instances of gay conversion therapy happening in the United Kingdom, but we want to get a better idea of the extent to which it is being practised.

“That is why we included questions on this topic in our national LGBT survey, which was launched this summer. We will publish the survey results and our response in the new year.”

The junior minister was responding to Labour MP Christian Matheson.

Mr Matheson had asked “the Secretary of State for Health, if he will proscribe the practice of conversion therapy in England”.

The man who pioneered so-called gay cure therapy, Dr. Joseph Nicolodi, died recently .

Dr. Nicolodi was co-founder of the US-based National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

He became a major figure in the ‘ex-gay’ movement.

He ran the clinic, the largest of its kind in the world, for more than three decades, writing four books on how to ‘cure’ homosexuality.