Equalities minister Liz Truss sits on anti-LGBT+ Heritage Foundation panel – again – and talks about dinner plates

Liz Truss lavished praise on the Heritage Foundation, the US conservative lobbying group that has led efforts to undermine LGBT+ rights.

Conservative minister Liz Truss spent her Sunday afternoon talking on a panel organised by the Heritage Foundation, the conservative lobbying group that has led efforts to undermine LGBT+ rights in the US.

The minister for women and equalities was speaking as part of a fringe event at the Tory party conference alongside Dan Hannan, the former Conservative MEP who defended Tony Abbot, the ex-Australian prime minister who opposes equal marriage yet was recently appointed UK trade envoy, against allegations of homophobia and misogyny.

The Heritage Foundation is an ultra-conservative think tank of anti-LGBT+ lobbyists with close ties to the Trump administration, which has been behind efforts to undermine transgender rights in the US and also opposes abortion access and same-sex marriage.

Truss began her remarks by telling Ted Bromund, the Heritage Foundation research fellow who chaired the panel about UK free trade after Brexit, that she wished Donald and Melania Trump a “speedy recovery” from the coronavirus.

Truss then spoke about her desire to “turbocharge the relationship” between the UK and US, who she called “likeminded allies”.

In comments reminiscent of her infamous speech about cheese imports, Truss went on to discuss trade tariffs on dinner plates.

“If you look at ceramics, there’s currently a 28 per cent tariff on dinner plates,” Truss said. “Those are the kind of exports that we could help unleash through a trade deal.”

Liz Truss Heritage Foundation

Liz Truss wished President Trump a speedy recovery from coronavirus before describing the UK and US as “likeminded allies”. (YouTube/ThinkTent)

Liz Truss and the Heritage Foundation.

Earlier this month, Liz Truss made the controversial decision to abandon planned reforms to the UK’s Gender Recognition Act, overriding a consultation that found overwhelming support for updating the law.

The minister has faced pressure to detail the groups she met with in the run-up to her decision, after doubt was cast over her claims to have consulted with several LGBT+ groups and trans charities.

But last weekend’s appearance on the Heritage Foundation panel was not the Tory equalities chief’s first brush with the anti-LGBT+ group – she has previously lavished praised on the group.

The Conservative minister met with the powerful conservative lobbying group in August 2019 in her role as trade secretary – weeks before she was handed the role of equalities minister by Boris Johnson.

The Heritage Foundation and its attacks on LGBT rights.

In her role as minister for women and equalities, Liz Truss has responsibility for advancing LGBT+ rights in the UK. Yet the Heritage Foundation would prefer those rights to be rolled back.

Known for its influence among US Republicans and hard-line views on abortion and LGBT+ rights, the Heritage Foundation continues to attack equal marriage and advocate for anti-LGBT ‘freedom to discriminate’ measures in the United States.

The ‘dark money’ group, which receives funding from the Koch brothers, has also been accused of funnelling support to ‘gender critical’ campaigners to help them attack trans rights.