Anderton Park MP attacks school in the Commons

June 26, 2019

The school at the centre of the most intense protests this year for promoting acceptance of LGBT people has been attacked in the House of Commons by its local MP, Roger Godsiff. The MP repeatedly criticised the leadership of Anderton Park Primary for not placating concerns of some local parents during a Commons debate yesterday evening that he sponsored.

Despite Mr Godsiff portraying the protests in Birmingham as having been exacerbated by the local schools concerned, MPs heard from other colleagues who challenged his narrative. MP for Birmingham Northfield, Richard Burden, stated that ‘the protests are actually about an objection in principle to LGBT inclusive education’. In regards to the level of abuse directed at the Anderton Park head teacher he urged the Commons to ‘stand up and say that that is simply not on’.

In addition Cardiff South and Penarth MP, Stephen Doughty, revealed that at least two opponents of schools promoting LGBT inclusivity had come to his consistency recently, one to give a talk and another whose organisation’s material has been circulated locally. It included guidance for making ‘all sorts of wild and fanciful allegations about [schools] somehow trying to corrupt young people’.

Chair of the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education, the Reverend Stephen Terry, said ‘Thankfully the large majority of contributions from MPs in the debate were in support of schools promoting LGBT equality. However, it is shocking that Anderton Park’s MP has publically rebuked the school and blamed it for the extent of the protests it has endured.

‘Following previous comments by Mr Godsiff, which were widely reported, the Labour Party stated that he would be reminded of his responsibilities as a Labour MP. It is thus highly alarming to find him continuing to attack a school in his constituency which is simply carrying out its legal duty.’

‘Mr Godsiff’s remarks are horrifying and irresponsible. They undermine all schools in their work of promoting LGBT inclusivity. ‘

‘This debate serves as yet another reminder that inclusive values in Education and elsewhere remain under threat. Our equality laws must not be taken for granted, but actively defended. The urgent need to offer practical and moral support for our schools in promoting LGBT inclusivity has been conclusively demonstrated by this MP’s ignorant words and actions.’

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