The Dying Days of Clause 28?

This originally appeared in BCN issue 60.

The removal of ‘Section 28’ reached an important stage in mid February when a Commons committee agreed that it should be repealed.

The amendment to the Local Government Bill was tabled by MPs from all three parties, including Edward Davey (Lib Dem), Kali Mountford (Lab) and John Bercow (Cons) and was passed in this morning’s committee meeting, after a surprisingly consensual debate.

Commenting after the debate, the MPs behind the moved expressed “quiet satisfaction” and a hope that all parties were moving towards an agreed solution. Labour MP Kali Mountford argued that “Section 28 has not been used since its introduction. Moreover, school governing bodies are responsible for the sex education curriculum in schools, and children now have extra protection in the Sexual Offences Act 2001. So Section 28 is now well and truly redundant.

Liberal Democrat MP, Edward Davey, said, “It is now gradually dawning on most people across the parties that this measure is not just discriminatory, but also makes the difficult job of teaching even harder.”

Adding a valuable Tory voice to the coalition to abolish the notorious clause, Conservative MP John Bercow said, “This is a clearly expressed backbench and cross party view which we all now hope will be respected by members of the House of Lords.”

The Local Government Bill is expected to have its Report Stage in the Commons in the first half of March and

then to proceed to the House of Lords.