Equality lessons row: Labour under pressure to suspend Birmingham MP

Equality lessons row: Labour under pressure to suspend Birmingham MP
News
Posted on 13 Jun 2019

A letter demanding the immediate suspension of Labour MP Roger Godsiff, following comments he made about the equality lessons row engulfing a school in his Birmingham constituency, is currently circulating social media sites.


The demonstrations outside Anderton Park have been taking place for a number of months, with protesters wanting the school to stop teaching lessons about equality. The school has been teaching such lessons uninterrupted for nine years.

In a video in which he is seen with protest organiser Shakeel Afsar, Mr Godsiff, MP for Hall Green MP - the constituency in which Anderton Park is located - said: “I think you have a just cause and I regret the fact that it hasn't been reciprocated by the head teacher.”


He continued: “I will continue to try and fight your corner because you're right. Nothing more, nothing less. You're right.”

Mr Godsiff has been reported by shadow education secretary Angela Rayner to the party’s chief whip, Nick Brown, for “discriminatory and irresponsible” comments.


The letter demanding Mr Godsiff’s immediate suspension and currently doing the rounds on social media reads: "The Labour Party is a party of equality, having long maintained its commitment to being at the forefront of championing people's rights.

"The party abolished Section 28, equalised the age of consent, created civil partnerships, and it was only through Labour votes that equal marriage became law. Labour has long campaigned for LGBT+ inclusive education in schools. 


"For a Labour MP to make discriminatory, highly offensive comments regarding LGBT+ people and to agree with homophobic, transphobic protests against LGBT+ teaching stands at a direct contrast with Labour's own values and its own manifesto."

The letter continues: "There is no justifiable reason to stop LGBT+ teaching in schools. Godsiff is pandering to bigotry and his actions directly contravene the Equality Act, Labour's own values and the manifesto Godsiff was voted in on.


"There is a crisis in Britain's schools for LGBT+ children and Labour must be the party which finds solutions to help these vulnerable children."

In a separate move, Birmingham Live reports that the regional committee of Unison has voted unanimously to formally condemn Mr Godsiff and begin a process that could trigger a deselection ballot.

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