'Mum and dad' or 'ladies and gentlemen' banned under new 'woke' language guide for councils

6 October 2022, 08:55

Mother and father kissing baby stock image Getty
A 'birthing parent' and 'non-birthing parent' kiss their baby. Picture: Getty Images

By Will Taylor

A new language guide instructs councils in England and Wales to avoid calling parents "mother" or "father" in an attempt to be more inclusive.

Instead of referring to parents' gender, the Local Government Association's guide advises staff to use the term "birthing parent".

Other banned terms in the 18-page document include "expat", "second generation", "the homeless", "lifestyle choice", "economic migrant" and "deprived neighbourhoods".

The guide suggests opting for "welcome everyone" at public events rather than "welcome ladies and gentlemen", adding: "People who are not 'ladies' or 'gentlemen' may recognise the difference, feel included and that they belong."

The ruling was emailed to 339 English and 22 Welsh councils by the LGA's chief executive Mark Lloyd CBE, the Sun reports.

It also tells council staff not to refer to "disabled" or "able bodied" staff and that a colleague's identity or personal background should only be referred to "when it is relevant, necessary and/or led by the person".

The document adds: "Experiences of trauma, racial trauma and exclusion are already experienced at disproportionately higher rates by LGBTQ+, black and neurodivergent people in the workplace."

A senior local government source described the guidance as "woke, patronising codswallop" and said people working for councils do so "to make people's lives better" and already "treat everyone with dignity and respect".

The Local Government Association said: “Councils are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity and respect."This guide is designed to help councils ensure everyone is supported and respected when they look to their local public services for help.”