Carrie Johnson says PM is 'committed' to LGBT+ rights in speech at Tory conference

6 October 2021, 07:48

Carrie Johnson has said her husband is 'committed' to preserving the rights of the LGBT+ community
Carrie Johnson has said her husband is 'committed' to preserving the rights of the LGBT+ community. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Carrie Johnson has said her husband Boris Johnson is "completely committed" to protecting the gains of the LGBT+ community, and extending them further, at a pride event on the fringes of the Conservative conference in Manchester.

Mrs Johnson defended the Prime Minister's track record on LGBT+ rights and highlighted the role of Conservative activists in modernising the party when she spoke on Tuesday.

"Whether you are LGBT+ or an ally like me we are all committed to equality and acceptance for everyone whoever you are and whoever you love," she told a crowded room in the Midland Hotel.

"There are still those who tell me that being LGBT+ and a Tory is somehow incompatible, well, looking around me tonight, we can see that is blatantly untrue.

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"Many of you here tonight have helped play a part in the journey our party has taken on gay rights and we can now say with huge pride that it was a Conservative prime minister who delivered equal marriage in England and Wales.

"I want you all to know that we now have a Prime Minister who is completely committed to accepting those gains and extending them further."

"Good", replied a member of the audience, before Mrs Johnson went on to praise the Prime Minister's record on LGBT+ rights.

"Boris also wanted me to remind you that as mayor he led the pride parade wearing a rather fetching pink stetson, which I think we should encourage him to do again," Mrs Johnson added to laughter.

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It is unusual for the spouse of a Prime Minister to talk at a party conference.

Boris Johnson has previously been accused of homophobic, having been criticised over his use of the slur "tank-topped bum boys" to refer to gay men in a newspaper column.

He also compared homosexuality to bestiality in his 2001 book "Friends, Voters, Countrymen", and said in another newspaper column that attempts to increase the number of gay people employed by the media "must be a spoof".

He has since said that he "champions" the rights of the LGBT+ community.

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