Will Keir Starmer deliver for LGBTQ+ people? Members of the public give their verdict

After Keir Starmer’s landslide victory in the general election, the new Labour prime minister made his first speech from Downing Street this afternoon (5 July), saying: “Our work is urgent and we begin it today.”

Starmer is the UK’s first Labour prime minister since 2010, following a collapse in support for the Conservatives, but after a string of comments about the LGBTQ+ community, including a “reset” on “toxic” trans discourse, followed by him saying trans women don’t have right to use women’s spaces even if they have a gender recognition certificate, not everyone is filled with confidence.

So, PinkNews asked the people of Manchester if they thought Starmer will deliver for LGBTQ+ people. Here’s what they said.

Keir Starmer arrives polling station during general election in London, Great Britain on July 4, 2024. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Labour’s Keir Starmer is the UK’s new prime minister. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty.)

“He needs to stand up for us, he’s sat on the fence for a long time in terms of trans rights and especially non-binary people like myself, he’s never really stood up for us or been outspoken and shut other people down, which… is something I would really like to see from a leader,” one person replied.

Another said: “Time will tell… he’s got a lot of females in his cabinet, so he’s very pro diversity. Let’s hope that things move positively forwards.”

Someone else pointed to recent comments about the LGBTQ+ community, saying: “The fact that he mentioned he was going to up-stand the Equality Act to exclude trans-identifying people threw my vote completely. I was going to vote Labour, and I decided against that because of that statement, and a few other things that they’ve said in the [past] six months.”

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‘It’s better than the Conservatives… but I don’t think Starmer’s clear on what he wants’

Another told PinkNews: “It’s better than the Conservatives but it’s pretty terrifying that Reform UK have got so many seats [four]. I don’t think Starmer’s been very clear on what he wants. Hopefully, being in power will [help] him make better, clearer decisions and I think the decisions for the LGBTQ+ community will be much better with Labour than the Conservatives.”

Others agreed with that, with one saying: “Yeah, definitely. The Conservatives come out with a lot of anti-trans stuff – like everyone does, really.”

But someone else said: “I’m not particularly pleased. I don’t agree with some of the things that he agrees with in terms of trans people. A lot of work has been done to get people to where they are at the moment, equal in society, and it could all be undone. I feel [trans people are] going to feel like they should be hidden, and that’s not right.”

However, generally, people thought things were going to get better. “Under Labour, yes, because they’re concerned about everybody,” one said.

And another answered: “Labour have… more of a variety of people from different backgrounds [who] are able to give more of an insight on the way the UK works.”

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