Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt resigns from Cabinet

Equalities Minister and Defence Secretary Penny Mordant has resigned from the Cabinet Office.

“I’m heading to the backbenches from where the PM will have my full support,” she tweeted, as new Prime Minister Boris Johnson begins his reshuffle.

Mordaunt had been Equalities Minister since April 2018 and Defence Secretary since May 2019.

Mordaunt has been the Tory MP for Portsmouth North since 2010. She has consistently voted for equal LGBT+ rights, including voting for same-sex marriage on several occasions.

As Equalities Minister, Mordaunt had responsibility for policies on women’s rights, transgender equality and sexual orientation, as well as overall government equality strategy.

Mordaunt tried to push through gender recognition law reforms

On July 4, at the PinkNews Westminster summer reception, Mordaunt said that she hoped the government would publish its response to the public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act “as soon as possible.”

“I’m hopeful that we will be able to get both the response to the consultation and what we’re planning on doing out there before the summer recess,” Mordaunt told PinkNews.

However, today (July 24) the government equalities office confirmed that reforms to gender identity laws have been delayed and an announcement on the public response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation will not be made before parliament goes into recess.

In a statement to PinkNews, a GEO spokesman said: “It is vital that the next steps on any potential reform of the Gender Recognition Act are carefully planned, and have the right backing so they can have a positive impact on the trans community in the UK.

“We had more than 100,000 responses to our consultation and have met with 140 organisations to ensure that we have taken into account views and concerns from all sides of the debate. We will announce more detail on our proposed next steps in due course.”

LGBT+ equality always part of Mordaunt’s role

The Gender Recognition Act reform was not Mordaunt’s only effort to help promote LGBT+ equality.

At a Stonewall conference in April 2019, Mordaunt called out complacency on LGBT+ equality.

“For some LGBT people, it can still take immense courage just to be themselves. While many battles have been won, complacency is not an option,” she said.

And in November 2018, she announced £2.6 million in funding to improve the lives of LGBT+ people as part of the government’s LGBT+ action plan.

The money will be used to help protect school children from homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

Mordaunt’s twin brother, James, is gay.