Yet Another Equality Minister

Parliament

The UK has another new Minister for Women and Equalities – the government role which includes leading on many LGBT issues.

Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, is the fifth person to take the job on in the past two years.

She has gained the role following the resignation of Amber Rudd as Home Office minister, as part of the resultant mini-reshuffle.

In comparison, between 2010 and 2015 the role only changed hands twice in five years – once in a reshuffle, the other a brief handover due to the incumbent taking maternity leave.

This is an issue for LGBT+ equality campaigners and means ordinary bi, gay and trans people are likely to have to live with unequal treatment for longer.

Legal reforms seem to be stalled at present, as incumbents moving quickly from one role to another mean less chance of legislative or civil service progress on delivering any given minister’s aims. We have already seen a rollback from proposed improvements in sex and relationship education for young people, which had been imminent (and overdue) when the 2017 General Election was called, and more recently gender recognition reform has come to look less likely to be delivered.

Meanwhile, as the government wobbles its way toward Brexit, the protections we have enjoyed through European legislation are still set to be lost.

Our place in Europe forced through reforms that governments were unwilling to deliver, such as the equalisation of the age of consent during the early years of Tony Blair’s government.