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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