Daily Mail

Gay and transgende­r conversion therapy won’t be outlawed

- By Jason Groves Political Editor

PLANS to ban gay conversion therapy will not become law before the next election after being downgraded in the King’s Speech.

Whitehall sources said the proposed ban will not be included when Charles outlines the Government’s new legislativ­e programme on Tuesday. Ministers will instead promise to bring forward draft legislatio­n for consultati­on in a bid to appease campaigner­s.

One Whitehall source said: ‘Realistica­lly, there is no chance of it becoming law this side of an election.’ Another confirmed the proposals have been kicked into the long grass, adding: ‘Ministers still don’t really have answers on what exactly needs to be made illegal that is not already illegal, and how you do that without trampling on the rights of parents, teachers and others to talk to children about their situation.’

The law would ban institutio­ns from offering conversion therapy and claiming to be able to stop people being gay or transgende­r – though some MPs feared it may unintentio­nally criminalis­e parents or teachers giving gender identity advice to children.

Theresa May first promised to ban it five years ago, a pledge renewed by Boris Johnson in 2020.

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has proposed any ban should incorporat­e a duty on GPs to require children to undergo counsellin­g before referring them for any medical procedures.

Tory MP Nick Fletcher said: ‘Nobody wants to see anyone verbally or physically bullied into making a decision they don’t want. But the law is already there to protect those who need that protection.’

Downing Street described gay conversion therapy as ‘abhorrent’ but declined to comment ahead of the King’s Speech. The Prime Minister had considered dropping the proposal completely, but it was kept alive following an interventi­on by chief whip Simon Hart.

‘Kicked into the long grass’

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