Liz Truss challenged to call a general election and test her ‘toxic policies’ with the public

Liz Truss smiles as she stands outside a building wearing a purple outfit

Prime minister Liz Truss has been invited to call a general election to let the public give their stance on her “toxic policies” by a long-time LGBTQ+ campaigner. 

Truss was announced as the UK’s next prime minister after winning the Conservative party leadership race on Monday (5 September). She was chosen by a vote among party members – estimated to be around 180,000 to 200,000 people. 

Truss is due to be appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday (6 September) shortly after Boris Johnson formally hands in his resignation to the monarch. 

The Conservative leader has barely begun her role and already LGBTQ+ advocates have called for her to make good on the Tory government’s promises to the queer community

Peter Tatchell – a British human rights campaigner who has long worked to advocate for LGBTQ+ worldwide – challenged the new prime minister to call a general election to see if UK voters would support the “toxic policies that she stands for”. 

“Liz Truss is bad news for the LGBT+ community,” Tatchell told PinkNews. “She’s been using us, especially trans people, as a political football to score culture war points.”

He continued: “She’s against reform of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) and is not committed to a comprehensive ban on all conversion practices. 

“She is jeopardising the lives and welfare of LGBT+ refugees with her heartless deportation of asylum applicants to Rwanda.”

Liz Truss smiles as she stands outside a building wearing a purple outfit

LGBTQ+ advocates have called on Liz Truss to “build bridges” with the queer community after she was elected the new Conservative Party leader. (Getty)

Liz Truss’ abysmal track record as minister for women and equalities saw the Tory government scrap meaningful reform to the GRA and fail to bring forward any legislation protecting LGBTQ+ people from traumatic conversion practices.  

The Conservative government’s Home Office came under fire in April for its asylum plan, which will see LGBTQ+ refugees deemed “illegal” by officials sent to be processed in Rwanda

LGBTQ+ advocates warned the police could result in the deaths of refugees as Rwanda is an “extremely hostile environment” for queer people.

Tatchell described how Truss has “no mandate as PM from the British people” as she was voted into the Tory leadership role by 81,326 Conservative voters.

“She was chosen by less than 200,000 Tory party members who represent about one 200th of the electorate,” he said. “The Conservatives won power with less than 44 per cent of the vote at the 2019 general election.”

He continued: “A clear majority, over 56 per cent, voted against them. 

“Truss has no mandate for anything. She should call a general election and let the public give their verdict on the toxic policies that she stands for.” 

Peter Tatchell stands next to another LGBTQ+ activist during a march

Peter Tatchell (L) says Liz Truss, who won the Tory leadership race to become the new Prime Minister, used LGBTQ+ people as a “political football to score culture war points”.(Getty)

The Conservative Party members make up less than one per cent of the more than 67 million people living in the UK. 

Labour leader Keir Starmer has backed demands for an early general election. Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said a general election was needed to “get the Conservatives out of power” to “deliver the real change the country needs”.  

However, Truss signalled that she wants to hold off on a general election until 2024. She promised to “deliver a great victory” for the Tories in two years during her leadership victory speech. 

During her Tory leadership election campaign, Truss used trans-exclusionary rhetoric to gain votes from right-wing supporters in the party. 

She denied trans women are women; openly spoke out against trans youth accessing gender-affirming care during a hustings event; and vowed to “protect single-sex spaces” presumably from trans and non-binary people.

Truss was later accused of “pandering to bigots” by former Tory MPs. One MP told PinkNews that they were “appalled” to see the effort put into they put into “changing the party on LGBT issues over the years” be “trashed” by Truss and Rushi Sunak during the election race.