Liz Truss urged by LGBTQ+ Tories to ditch ‘divisive rhetoric’ and tackle ‘burning injustices’

Liz Truss speaks during a Tory leadership electing hustings

LGBTQ+ Conservatives are urging Liz Truss to avoid “divisive rhetoric” and instead focus on uniting the party as prime minister.

Truss will become prime minister just after midday Tuesday (6 September), after winning the Conservative leadership race with 81,326 votes to Rishi Sunak’s 60,399.

Now, LGBTQ+ Conservatives are hoping she will unite the party after a bitter, turbulent leadership race which saw both candidates capitalising on anti-trans talking points in a bid to win support.

Ben Howlett, a former Conservative MP, told PinkNews that Truss should focus on fighting “injustice”.

“Just as she vowed to bring together the Conservative Party today, it is important that she unites the country – that means putting to one side divisive rhetoric and fight the ‘burning injustices’ that plague our society.

“To do so will provide her with a lasting legacy.”

Former Tory MP Ben Howlett

Former Tory MP Ben Howlett says anti-trans pressure groups are pushing talking points in the leadership race. (Supplied)

LGBTQ+ Conservatives won’t stay silent on Liz Truss

Andrew Boff, deputy chair of the London Assembly, said he is “pretty convinced” that LGBTQ+ Conservatives will now “unite behind our new leader”.

“It’s very important that we have a credible, united party that can face Labour at the next general election,” Boff said.

“But LGBT Conservatives will not remain silent – they will continue the process of persuading the leadership that the rights of LGBT+ people must be protected and if anything enhanced.”

Emma Best, a London Assembly member who supported Truss during the leadership race, said she was “delighted” with the result.

“I hope Liz can bring together the country, unite us and stand up for the LGBT+ community,” Best said.

Rishi Sunak (L) and Liz Truss (R) against an edited background of 10 Downing Street lit up in pink colours.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.(Getty/PinkNews)

Other LGBTQ+ Conservatives shared their hopes for the future under Truss’ leadership on social media after the announcement.

Chris Clarkson, MP for Heywood and Middleton, congratulated Truss on her victory, adding: “It’s time to unite and get on with addressing the important issues our country faces.”

Conor Burns, MP for Bournmouth West, sent his well wishes to Truss, saying she would have to face “huge issues” surrounding the Northern Irish protocol.

“After my work this summer I’m convinced we can fix the challenges of the protocol through dialogue. I wish her well,” Burns said.

We are a party that welcomes all.

David Mundell, MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweedale, said Truss won after mounting a “strong campaign”.

“Huge challenges lie ahead but Liz is up for tackling them and ready to hit the ground running.”

Liz Truss stands at a podium after it is announced she won the Tory leadership election

Liz Truss. (Getty)

LGBT+ Conservatives, the party’s official affiliation group, said it had written to Truss to congratulate her on her election.

“Liz has been invited to meet the LGBT+ Conservatives council and wider membership to discuss how we can support better LGBT+ policy under her leadership,” the LGBT+ Conservatives tweeted.

“We see this as a brilliant opportunity for our party to renew its commitment to the LGBT+ community and rebuild trust to them – because we are a party that welcomes all.

“We look forward to working with this new government to improve the lives of LGBT+ people in the UK.”

Truss reaffirmed her pledge to lower taxes in her victory speech

Immediately after she was named the next Conservative leader, Truss promised to “deliver a great victory for the Conservative Party” in the next general election, which is due to take place in 2024.

“During this leadership campaign, I campaigned as a Conservative, and I will govern as a Conservative,” Truss said to loud cheers.

“I know that our beliefs resonate with the British people. Our beliefs in freedom, in the ability to control your own life, in low taxes, in personal responsibility.”

She also paid tribute to her rival Rishi Sunak and to outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson in her victory speech.

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

Liz Truss. (Getty)

“Boris you got Brexit done, you crushed Jeremy Corbyn, you rolled out the vaccine and you stood up to Vladimir Putin,” Truss said.

“You are admired from Kyiv to Carlisle.”

Truss’ victory comes after a bitter leadership battle which saw more than 10 Conservatives throw their hat into the ring to become the next prime minister.

In the end, the race was whittled down to just two – Truss and Sunak.

Both candidates came under fire repeatedly over anti-LGBTQ+ comments and policy pledges.

Truss took aim at gender-affirming care for minors during the leadership race, while both she and Sunak faced significant criticism when they claimed at a hustings that trans women aren’t women.