Steve September 24, 2020
tory-mp-crispin-blunt-calls-for-equalities-minister-liz-truss-to-be-sacked-as-she-doesn’t-have-the-‘empathy-for-the-role’

Tory MP Crispin Blunt has called for Liz Truss, the Conservative minister for women and equalities, to be sacked as she doesn’t have “the empathy for the role”.

In an extraordinary move, Blunt has urged the government to fire Truss following her announcement that the Tories will not be reforming the UK’s Gender Recognition Act despite overwhelming public support, and will instead simply move applications online and scrap the £140 fee.

Blunt, formerly a prisons minister under the coalition government, told PinkNews Thursday (September 24): “It is clear that the minister for women and equalities does not have the time or necessary empathy to continue in this role.

“Rather than addressing the fundamental dehumanisation and the humiliation of the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate, the minister has simply digitised the application form and reduced the fee, as she can’t legislate because she has no majority to carry legislation on this issue.

“It betrays the results of the consultation and the trans community. Trans people in the UK deserve better.

Bunt added: “On equalities her approach has been didactic and suggestive of someone who has a set view and is short of time to think things through, and does not respect the advice of others both inside and outside government who have long experience of the values and issues at stake and why this matters so much to people.”

Blunt has served as an MP since 1997, defeating a 2013 deselection attempt which was allegedly in response to his coming out as gay three years prior.

As well as his coalition role, he also served as chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee between 2015 and 2017, and is now chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on LGBT+ rights.

Liz Truss scrapped GRA reform despite overwhelming public support.

The long-delayed results of a 2018 public consultation on gender recognition were finally published on Tuesday (September 22), confirming strong public support for efforts to streamline the process of changing legal gender.

The consultation attracted more than 108,000 responses, with 80 per cent of respondents in favour of de-medicalising the process of obtaining a gender recognition certificate, and three-quarters in favour of dropping a requirement for trans people to provide “evidence” of living in their chosen gender.

But in a ministerial statement published alongside the consultation, equalities minister Liz Truss signalled that broader reforms to gender recognition laws will not go ahead.

Crispin Blunt’s call for Truss to be sacked followed urgent questions in the House of Commons in which MPs grilled the equalities chief over her failure to listen to the results of the public consultation on GRA reform.

Despite consultation results from the trans community concluding that the GRA process is “too bureaucratic, time consuming and expensive”, Truss claimed the issue was “not top priority” many for trans people.

She instead cited an already-announced expansion of the over-burdened NHS gender identity clinics, appearing to suggest that the government is incapable of providing the trans community rights and healthcare at the same time.

 

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