Thank you to all of you who have been in touch with me in recent weeks about the banning of conversion therapy – and the Westminster Hall debate that took place on the matter yesterday (Monday 13th June 2022).
583 residents in Cardiff Central signed the recent UK Parliament petition to ban conversion therapy outright.
I completely share your concerns and agree that this abhorrent practice, in all its forms has no place anywhere in the United Kingdom. The UK Conservative Government promised to legislate to ban it but has not kept its word. It has demonstrated complete contempt for the safety and wishes of the LGBT+ community and the views of the majority of the public. It has both dragged its feet in delivering its promise and used the issue to stoke the flames of a “culture war” rather than take part in legislating against a dangerously harmful and totally unacceptable practice.
In 2018, I co-sponsored draft legislation that would have outlawed conversion therapy. It would have made the Health and Care Professions Council, the regulatory body for all counsellors and psychotherapists; would have prohibited conversion therapy; with specific provisions protecting both children and adults. Unfortunately, it did not become law because it did not proceed far enough through the parliamentary process before the snap December 2019 General Election was called.
Labour has continuously pressed the UK Government to bring forward legislation and to deliver on its LGBT action plan. Due to the lack of action, and despite this policy area not being devolved to the Senedd, the Welsh Labour Government is commissioning urgent legal advice on any unilateral action they could take towards a ban on conversion therapy.
Please be assured that we will continue to hold the UK Government to account on its failures on this important issue, including at the debate in Westminster Hall in Parliament on Monday 13th June where Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities ministers will respond on behalf of the Labour Party. This debate is happening as a result of a public petition to Parliament but there will not be a vote.
Thank you again to everyone who has contacted me about this important issue.