Tory leadership: Esther McVey says ‘parents know best’ on LGBT lessons

Esther McVey smiling as she walks in 10 Downing Street

Esther McVey has waded into the row on LGBT-inclusive education in Birmingham schools, as she sets out her manifesto for the Conservative party leadership.

The Tory MP is one of 11 MPs vying to become party leader and consequently Britain’s next prime minister.

Speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning (May 30), she said that teaching young children about LGBT relationships is a matter for parents.

“I believe parents know best for their children,” she said. “While they’re still children—and we’re talking primary school [age]—then parents need to have the final say.

“Parents need to have the final say.”

—Esther McVey MP

“If parents want to take their young children out of certain forms of sex and relationship education then that is down to them.”

Esther McVey criticised by Labour and Tories

The row over LGBT-inclusive education has been ongoing since March, with parents from mostly Muslim communities staging protests outside of schools and withdrawing children from lessons which mention same-sex relationships—but not sex.

Welsh Labour & Co-op MP Stephen Doughty said that McVey’s choice of words serves to help legitimise common misconceptions about the dispute.

Protestors outside of Parkfield School, Birmingham

Parents demonstrate against the No Outsiders programme at Parkfield Community School on March 21 in Birmingham. (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

“The Tory leadership contest seems to be shamefully descending into a competition of who can out-right wing each other by promoting intolerance against the LGBT+ community,” he told PinkNews.

“McVey ignorantly helps legitimise the myths around relationships and sex education, at the same time that Dominic Raab has targeted the trans community.

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