Mims Davies: What has the new shadow minister for women and equalities said about LGBTQ+ issues?

Tory MP Mims Davies

Mims Davies has been appointed shadow minister for women and equalities – and LGBTQ+ people will be keen to know where she stands on the issue of, well, equality for LGBTQ+ people, given the Conservative Party’s recent record.

Davies, the MP for East Grinstead and Uckfield, survived the Tory wipeout during Labour’s landslide general election victory and was give the new role by the leader of the opposition Rishi Sunak on Monday (8 July), after 12 members of his top team lost their seats.

Her role was announced as Bridget Phillipson was appointed the new minister for women and equalities, with Anneliese Dodds – the previous shadow minister for women and equalities when Labour was in opposition – named a minister for women and equalities at the Department for Education.

A Downing Street spokesperson emphasised during a phone call with PinkNews that Dodds will be the lead minister, with Phillipson having been named a minister because of a “technical constitutional reason” where certain briefs need to be attached to a secretary of state for the purposes of signing legislation.

What has Mims Davies said about LGBTQ+ rights?

Mims Davies has supported the LGBTQ+ community in the past. (GOV)

Davies has a track record of voting in favour of LGBTQ+ rights. In 2019, she supported extending equal marriage to Northern Ireland and throughout 2023 wrote pieces on her website where she threw her weight behind equal access to IVF for LGBTQ+ couples and banning so-called conversion therapy, as well as one celebrating the 10th anniversary of same-sex marriage becoming legal in England and Wales.

In 2017, Davies spoke during a debate on global LGBTQ+ rights where she praised the “strides” Britain has made for equality, Turing’s Law and the announcement of a consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004. She said people in Eastleigh – then the constituency she represented – wanted to host a Pride event.

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“I look forward to my children – not just my children’s children – growing up in a world where sexuality and gender are no measure at all by which to judge a person,” she said at the time.

Notably, in 2016, Davies also penned a piece for her website following the release of a landmark trans report by the Women and Equality Select Committee where she said it was “absolutely imperative more effort is put into eradicating discrimination for transgender people because the very disturbing evidence we all heard shows that they are treated very differently”, and seemed to support reforming the Gender Recognition Act.

“More has to be done to educate services, schools and colleges, the NHS and the criminal justice system to help transgender people and treat them with compassion as there is the real issue of a disproportionate level of suicides within this grouping,” she wrote.

“Achieving more equality for transgender people will be a challenge, but we met very similar challenges tackling homophobia and I think that battle is shifting in the right direction, so it’s now time to turn our attention to this problem and face it head on.”

The original link for the piece is no longer accessible but can still be accessed via a web archive. It is unclear why it is no longer available.

Taking to X/Twitter to register her delight about her new appointment, Davies wrote: “I focused on women’s employment at [the Department of Work and Pensions]. I appointed the first cross-government DWP menopause champion. It’s not new to me to stand up for women’s equality.

“I have stood up for women’s sport to be properly covered and reported as the sports minister, I was proud [to] serve on the first [women and equalities committee]. It is vital we support and protect women and I have spoken out too on my drink-spiking experience.

“I’ll hold the new government to account and work closely with my party to stand up to be counted on all equality matters. We need our country to work for women and all members of our communities so we all feel happy, fulfilled and able to reach as far as our talents and dedication takes us.”

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