Boris 'U-turns twice on gay conversion therapy and will now ban it'

31 March 2022, 22:24

Boris Johnson has been criticised for Thursday's U-turning
Boris Johnson has been criticised for Thursday's U-turning. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

An embarrassing evening of U-turns appear to have been pulled by the Government after it initially confirmed it would not ban gay conversion therapy.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Government confirmed on Thursday evening that it would not implement a new law outlawing the practice, which sparked outrage given it had been committed to doing so.

Conversion therapy is marketed as the process of changing someone's sexuality, or gender identity in the case of transgender people, but its opponents brand it as a form of quackery.

Campaigners said millions of people in the LGBT community were "thrown under the bus" after the Government U-turned on a pledge to ban the "therapy".

Read more: Outrage as UK Court blocks same-sex marriage for Bermuda and Cayman islands

Read more: Zahawi backs under-fire Sunak as Tories say more help is needed on eve of soaring bills

After the outcry, it was reported Boris Johnson had now decided to U-turn again, going ahead with plans to outlaw gay conversion therapy but not transgender conversion therapy.

ITV, which broke the story, reported Mr Johnson had changed his mind after the dreadful reaction.

Iain Dale condemns the government's U-turn on conversion therapy ban.

Earlier on Thursday, the Government said it would not legislate to ban gay conversion therapy but instead explore "other non-legislative measures" to try and stop it from happening.

Confirmation followed a leaked document reported by ITV News, which said: "Given the unprecedented circumstances of major pressures on cost of living and the crisis in Ukraine, there is an urgent need to rationalise our legislative programme."

Previously, Mike Freer, the equalities minister, said on Wednesday the Government was "wholly committed" to legislation.

Jayne Ozanne, an LGBT rights activist within the Church of England who chairs the Ban Conversion Therapy campaign, told LBC after the initial U-turn: "I thought it was an April fool, I couldn’t believe that the Government would be so outrageously insensitive, frankly reneging on every promise they’ve ever made."