Tory MP Miriam Cates’ ‘worrying’ call for trans schools inquiry dubbed ‘new Section 28’

Miriam Cates MP

Tory MP Miriam Cates’ call for an investigation into trans inclusion in British schools has been compared to the reviled Section 28.

Cates told the Mail on Sunday that she has received emails from parents claiming that their children are being “brainwashed” by trans-inclusive education in primary schools ever since she gave a speech on the topic in parliament in November.

“They have told very worrying stories about how this ideology has made its way into their children’s schools,” Cates said. “It’s quite alarming at how widespread this has become.

“The government has to take a role on this. It needs some sort of inquiry into what is happening, and it must issue much stronger guidance.”

The MP also claimed that parents have emailed her suggesting their children were allowed to socially transition in school without parental consent.

Cates has been widely condemned by LGBT+ groups and activists for suggesting that children are being “brainwashed” by inclusive school environments.

“We are extremely concerned about the dangerous misinformation about support in schools for trans and non-binary students raised by Miraim Cates MP recently,” Susie Green, CEO of trans youth charity Mermaids, told PinkNews.

The similarities to Section 28 framing are deeply worrying.

“A supportive, inclusive learning environment for LGBTQIA+ young people can potentially be life saving and to suggest it as a form of indoctrination is absurd.

“We have heard this before and the similarities to Section 28 framing are deeply worrying. We would urge all ministers, who work to represent all members of their constituencies, to realise the harmful impacts their sweeping statements have on some of the most vulnerable young people in our community.”

Cates’ comments have also been widely shared on social media, with many drawing parallels between her call for an inquiry and the way Section 28 came to be in the 1980s. That law banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools and by local authorities, meaning many queer people grew up without even knowing that it was possible to be lesbian, gay or bisexual.

PinkNews has contacted Miriam Cates for comment.

Miriam Cates thinks trans-inclusive education is a safeguarding issue

Cates’ latest comments come just weeks after she told the House of Commons that LGBT+ charities Stonewall and Mermaids are teaching children “dangerous and contested extreme ideologies” in schools.

Speaking on 9 November, Cates said she was concerned at the idea of paid counsellors being introduced to schools as it could lead to “unqualified” counsellors offering LGBT+ inclusive services.

“I do want to raise what I think is a very dangerous potential safeguarding issue that we are seeing in this area right now, where schools are inviting outside organisations into schools to provide counselling-type services and using their materials, groups like Stonewall and Mermaids, who are teaching what I think are dangerous and contested extreme ideologies that don’t have a basis in science to our children, and it is contrary to Department for Education guidance,” she said.

Cates went on to single out Stonewall, which does not provide counselling in schools, and accused the charity of “wrongly interpreting the Equality Act in a way that erodes sex-based rights”.

She went on to suggest that this “ideology” has “terrible consequences” for children.