Political

LGBT+ Lib Dems write-up their meeting with Phillip Lee

Here’s the write-up from LGBT+ Liberal Democrats of their meeting with Phillip Lee and others following the controversy and resulting resignations triggered by his switch to the Liberal Democrats:

During the Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth, members of the LGBT+ Liberal Democrat Executive met with Dr Phillip Lee MP, Equalities Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP, and Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael MP. Also present in a personal capacity was our former Chair, Jennie Rigg.

We raised our concerns, those of LGBT+ communities and the party membership on how the events of the last few weeks were dealt with by the parliamentary party. We expressed the hurt felt by LGBT+ communities about the alienating history of experience with the medical and political establishments. The use of appropriate language was also discussed.

This meeting is the first step towards establishing an engaging and constructive relationship between LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and Dr Phillip Lee MP. We also received commitments from Alistair Carmichael MP around closer working between LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and the Parliamentary Party, including an invitation for us to raise concerns directly with him as Chief Whip. This builds on the conversation our Acting Chair had with the Chief Whip on Saturday before the announcement of Sam Gyimah as a new Lib Dem MP.

Dr Lee was receptive to the concerns we raised. He looks forward to opportunities to share his expertise and demonstrate his commitment to liberal values as a Liberal Democrat MP.

It’s a promising step in the right direction, though it’s important the party doesn’t therefore forget the issue and think all is sorted, either for LGBT+ Liberal Democrats or wider issues about properly involving party bodies in the party’s work.

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5 responses to “LGBT+ Lib Dems write-up their meeting with Phillip Lee”

  1. The Liberal Party must not become a place for ex Tory or Labour MPs who fell out with their ex party policies . It’s expected of the Brexit Party but not the Lib dems .

  2. Let’s extend that generous and welcoming attitude. The Liberal party must not become a place for ex Tory or Labour voters who fell out with their ex party policies….

  3. Speaking as an LGBT+ ally, this party must retain its open, tolerant and forward thinking attitude. We must scrutinise every new member that wants to be a Lib Dem MP, whether they are already an MP for another party, or a member standing for selection.
    I am glad that the meeting took place. I appreciate that we may never know the full story of any meetings – or lack of – that took place before Dr Lee joined us. I wish there had been an opportunity – at a fringe event – for open dialogue and scrutiny, before the former chairs of LGBT+ Lib Dems resigned.

  4. The problems for the party on LGBT issues are not confined to the previous statements of Philip Lee. The Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons is a LGBT free zone and at the present time there is not many signs of this changing substantially after the next General Election. Even amongst our peers numbers are low. There is also denial at the lasting damage that Tim Farron’s performance over Gay Marriage at the last General Election has caused. It has left a lasting image of Lib Dem intolerance on LGBT issues in many people. In this context it was disappointing that the Party’s Parliamentary Party’s Equality Spokesperson was unable to attend the LGBT+ AGM in Bournemouth.

  5. There is no value, John, in talking up the problems we have. This meeting was a very appropriate first step in moving towards a resolution.
    And we must always remember that statements reported in the press will always have the spin on it of the particular journal, so I would listen carefully to what Phillip Lee actually says, and respected friends who may have heard him at the time, before making any judgement.
    Time we had better regulation about speaking the truth in public office and some law governing reporting by the media.. until then we shall continue down this slipper slope that we are on.

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