Tory leader hopeful Esther McVey has said she thinks parents should have ‘final say’ over LGBTI-inclusive teaching at schools.
As homophobic protests continue outside schools across Birmingham, the Work and Pensions Secretary has come out in support of the parents.
Speaking to Sky News yesterday (30 May) she said parents should have the right to withdraw their children from classes that
What did she say?
‘I believe parents know best for children,’ McVey said, live from Salford, in Greater Manchester.
‘And whilst they’re still children – and you’re talking there in primary schools – then really the parents need to have the final say in what they want their children to know.’
Although siding support to the parents, she did find fault with their protest tact.
“Parents know best for their children.”
When asked about protests over LGBT classes, Tory leadership candidate Esther McVey told #Sunrise parents should have “final say on what they want their children to know”.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 30, 2019
‘People shouldn’t be protesting outside primary schools. That’s young primary school children going into schools there.
‘Everybody has to be a little bit more adult. A little bit more grown-up in what they do outside primary schools.’
The 51-year-old lawmaker – who has consistently voted against LGBTI parliament bills – summarized her views: ‘The final say is with the parents.
‘And if parents want to take their young children, that’s primary school children, out of certain forms of sex education, relationship education, then that is down to them.’
Pull children from what?
From pushing banners outside the school gates to removing their children from lessons altogether, a primary school in Birmingham’s inclusive lessons ignited ire from parents.
Protesters argued that pupils at Parkfield Community School are too young for such materials. Or that pro-LGBTI education stands in contrast to Islamic teachings.
Furthermore, a number of schools in the area halted their LGBTI-inclusivity lessons.
The ensuing row made headlines. But regardless of the backlash, LGBTI people and allies have widely praised headteacher Andrew Moffat for his commitment to inclusivity.
Could Esther McVey be PM of the UK?
Meanwhile, McVey is one of 11 blue-tie politicians vying for Prime Minister Theresa May’s front row seat in parliament.
After dangling the prospects to conservative lawmakers for months, May finally announced her stepping down last week. Opening a vicious party leadership struggle.
Under party rules, Conservative lawmakers will select two candidates. But the final call will go to the ballot of party members, just around 120,000 people.
Many analysts expect the first phase of the contest to be completed before Parliament breaks for its summer vacation, towards the end of July.