Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan


Dismay at UK Government's rejection of LGBTI rights envoy

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The SNP has today voiced disappointment at the UK Government’s rejection of the creation of a special Foreign Office envoy to promote the rights of LGTBI people throughout the world.

Responding to a Parliamentary Question from SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford, Foreign Office minister David Lidington said that the UK Government did not support the creation of such an envoy – and said creating a new post would be “ticking a box”.

Last month, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced her support for an envoy – and said that a team of SNP MPs elected at the General Election would support the creation of such a post "to promote the rights of LGBTI people throughout the word, as an integral part of UK foreign policy".

Commenting on today’s developments, Dr. Whiteford said:

“It is deeply disappointing that Foreign Office Minister David Lidington has rejected proposals for the creation of an LGTBI envoy."

"As the First Minister stated last month, there is cross-party support for an envoy – just as there is support for such a post in the United States – and the SNP is prepared to work across party boundaries to ensure the role is established. For Mr Lidington to refer to the role as a “ticking a box” is extremely insulting."

“Too many LGBTI people in too many countries still face the most extreme forms of prejudice and hate - our voice must be one of those arguing and advocating for equality, tolerance and love."

"That is why a team of SNP MPs elected in May will continue to push the case for the establishment of a special envoy - a diplomatic post within the Foreign Office - to promote the rights of LGBTI people throughout the word, as an integral part of UK foreign policy."

"By voting for a strong team of SNP MPs in May, the people of Scotland can achieve change to deliver policies that are right for this country - and advance the cause of progressive policies across the UK."

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