Earlier tonight the government announced a U-turn on a key pledge – and now it appears it has U-turned the other way (Picture: AFP)
Downing Street appears to be in disarray over its ‘conversion therapy’ policy after a night of confusion.
Earlier on it was revealed the government had quietly shelved a proposal to outlaw harmful practices which target the LGBTQ community.
Boris Johnson has previously described the practice as ‘abhorrent’ and said he would adopt Theresa May’s commitment to ban it in law when he became prime minister.
But despite it being included in the Queen’s speech last year, it emerged the government planned to axe the move.
There was a furious backlash from campaigners, the opposition and some Tory MPs, one of whom called the PM ‘fundamentally wrong’.
Now it appears the government has backed down and will go ahead with its pledge to pass new legislation after all – just a few hours after it said it would do the opposite.
ITV’s Paul Brand, the journalist who first revealed the law had been dropped, said Number 10 was planning to pass a new law following the backlash.
But he revealed the element banning ‘therapies’ targeted at trans people will not make it into law, teeing up a new showdown with campaigners and MPs.
ITV said a senior government source had confirmed there would be a U-turn on the U-turn but there has been no official word from Downing Street.
The sudden shift caps off a night of an evening of turmoil in Number 10.
ITV first revealed the government had secretly axed its promise to ban the ‘treatments’ in law – a commitment first made in 2018 – shortly before 6pm after obtaining a leaked document.
A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed the move around an hour later, saying ministers would instead tackle the practice using existing legislation.
Just three hours after that, the journalist who reported the initial U-turn said he had been informed the PM had done another 180 degree U-turn and would introduce a bill after all.
It comes after Tory MPs publicly slammed the decision, with many more reportedly making their displeasure known behind the scenes.
Dehenna Davison, the MP for Bishop Auckland, said earlier: ‘This decision is fundamentally wrong, and needs to be reversed immediately.
‘As well as breaking an explicit promise, this is a matter of basic decency. Being gay is not something that needs curing.’
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Original Source: metro.co.uk