Johnson drops plans to outlaw LGBT conversion therapy

A Government spokesman said ministers would look at ‘other non-legislative measures’ to stop the practice.

31 March 2022

Boris Johnson has dramatically dropped plans for the Government to ban so-called LGBT conversion therapy, it has been confimred.

A leaked Downing Street briefing paper seen by ITV News said “the PM has agreed we should not move forward with legislation” to outlaw the practice.

In response, a Government spokesman said they had decided to look at how existing law could be applied more effectively as well as “other non-legislative measures”.

The move was condemned by the Liberal Democrats as giving a “green light to a form of torture” and an “utter betrayal” of the LGBT community.

Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street
Boris Johnson has agreed not to proceed with legislation (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The announcement came just a day after Equalities Minister Mike Freer told MPs the Government was “wholly committed” to legislation and that work was “progressing at pace”.

However, the leaked briefing document disclosed that ministers involved in drawing up the legislation – including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is also Equalities Minister – had not been told of the decision.

“While Liz is not ideologically committed to the legislation, she is likely to be concerned about owning the new position, having personally committed to delivering the Bill,” it said.

It warned that Mr Freer could resign, and that the Prime Minister’s special envoy on LGBT issues, Lord Herbert, may also consider his position.

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