Carrie Johnson insists it’s entirely possible to be LGBT+ and a Tory

Carrie Johnson speaks at the LGBT+ Pride reception at the Conservative Party Conference

In a speech at a Conservative Party Conference Pride drinks reception, Carrie Johnson has insisted it is “blatantly untrue” that it is “incompatible” to be queer and a Tory.

Johnson said her husband, prime minister Boris Johnson, was “completely committed” to LGBT+ rights in her speech on Tuesday (5 October), at a Pride event in partnership with Stonewall at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

Speaking to an audience of around 100, including her husband and women and equalities minister Liz Truss, she said: “There are still those who tell me that being LGBT+ and a Tory is somehow incompatible, well, looking around me tonight, we can see that is blatantly untrue.”

Despite politics being vital to securing LGBT+ rights, Johnson claimed: “The idea that your sexual orientation or gender identity should determine your politics is now as illogical as saying your height or your hair colour should.”

She pointed to her husband’s support of same-sex marriage, his vote to repeal Section 28 almost two decades ago, and the fact that he had appointed a “special envoy” on LGBT+ rights, adding: “I want you all to know that we now have a prime minister who is completely committed to accepting those gains and extending them further.”

Carrie Johnson said that the Conservative government was committed to banning conversion therapy, rolling out PrEP on the NHS and restoring “medals to veterans who had them stripped from them for being lesbian or gay”.

The Tory party promised to outlaw the debunked, dangerous practice of conversion therapy in 2018, under Theresa May. More than three years later, the public consultation has not even started, and the UK will not see a  ban until 2022. 

The roll-out of the life-saving preventative HIV drug PrEP on the NHS has taken years of fighting by charities, activists and clinicians, and the issue even had to go to court before the Tory government accepted that it was necessary.

Carrie Johnson gave an LGBT+ rights speech at the Conservative Party Conference, which hosted anti-trans pressure group LGB Alliance

Ironically, Carrie Johnson’s speech took place at the Conservative party conference, which also happened to host the anti-trans pressure group LGB Alliance. 

The LGB Alliance, which now has charity status, denies that it is a transphobic group, but has on multiple occasions been described as a “hate group” since its October 2019 launch.

Kate Harris, LGB Alliance co-founder, told ITV News that the organisation had received a “warm welcome” from the Tories, and was grateful for the opportunity to “publicise its cause” at the conference.

Harris also said that politicians that stood up for trans rights were “contorting themselves into ridiculous positions to defend idiotic ideas”.