Liz Truss’s pitiful legacy will be one of ‘silence and inaction’, say LGBTQ+ activists

Liz Truss is seen making resignation statement outside 10 Downing Street.

Liz Truss will be remembered by the LGBTQ+ community for her “silence and inaction”, leading activists have said.

Truss announced that she was stepping down as prime minister on Thursday (20 October) following weeks of political and economic turmoil.

Her resignation – which comes just 45 days after she was appointed prime minister – makes her the shortest serving prime minister in British history.

Jayne Ozanne, an LGBTQ+ activist who previously sat on the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel, told PinkNews that the UK needs a prime minister “who has the humility to listen”.

“Liz Truss will be remembered for her many failures, indeed for many in the LGBT+ community she will be known for her silence and inaction on critical matters that have impacted our safety and allowed perpetrators of hate to act with impunity,” Ozanne said.

“Following the ‘summer of hate’, where the trans community saw their rights become a toxic political football, she did nothing to address soaring hate crime figures or progress the urgent need for a ban on conversion practices.

“We now need a prime minister who takes our concerns as highlighted in the 2018 LGBT+ Survey seriously and who has the humility to listen, take advice and admit when they have made mistakes.”

A photo of prime minister Liz Truss delivering her keynote address on the final day of the annual Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

Liz Truss delivers her keynote address on the final day of the annual Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. (AFP via Getty/PAUL ELLIS)

Cleo Madeleine, communications officer at trans charity Gendered Intelligence, told PinkNews that the next prime minister must learn from Truss’ failures.

“Liz Truss has not left a positive legacy for the office of prime minister. Her leadership campaign was marked by anti-trans rhetoric as she competed for the attention of the Tory right.

“She appointed ministers with dubious records on LGBT+ rights. Her equalities minister, Nadhim Zahawi, criticised teaching about trans people in schools. Health minister Therese Coffey was a staunch opponent of equal marriage and consistently voted against improvements in LGBT+ rights.”

Madeleine said the damage Truss inflicted on the economy will have made life harder for trans people who are already at higher risk of housing and employment insecurity.

“Whoever steps into Downing Street next must learn from these failures if they want to avoid another collapse,” Madeleine added.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer told Sky News that a “clear alternative” to the “utter chaos” of the Conservative Party is a stable Labour government.

“The damage that has been inflicted on the public through higher prices and mortgages is considerable. This is not a soap opera, these are real lives that are being impacted by the mess at the top of the Tory party.”

Liz Truss’ resignation was broadly welcomed by human rights activists, LGBTQ+ people and political figures.

Truss confirmed her resignation on Thursday (20 October) after weeks of speculation about whether her leadership could survive the fallout of her disastrous mini-budget.

In the face of economic turmoil, Truss said: “I recognise given the situation I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative party. I have therefore spoken to his majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.”

More than a dozen Tory MPs had called on Truss to resign by the time she made her announcement.