MP Roger Godsiff Reprimanded By Labour's Chief Whip

14 June 2019, 18:04 | Updated: 14 June 2019, 18:08

Roger Godsiff MP Birmingham Hall Green

A Labour MP has been reprimanded by the party's chief whip after backing campaigners protesting against LGBT equality teaching at a Birmingham primary school.

Roger Godsiff, MP for the city's Hall Green constituency which is home to Anderton Park Primary School, was criticised last week after telling protesters they had a "just cause".

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner reported the "discriminatory and irresponsible" comments to chief whip Nick Brown.

Anderton Park has been at the centre of a series of school gate protests in recent months, leading to a court injunction banning demonstrations inside an exclusion zone around the site.

The city council said it decided to make an urgent application for an injunction only after careful consideration and in the light of "increasing fears for the safety and wellbeing of the staff, children and parents" at the school.

Confirming Mr Godsiff had been instructed not to repeat his comments, a Labour spokesperson said: "The Labour Party has long supported and campaigned for LGBT+ inclusive education in schools, and the achievement of cross Party support for legislation this year was a significant step forward in the struggle for LGBT+ equality.

"There is not only a moral imperative to teach LGBT+ inclusive education, there is also a legal requirement under the Equality Act, which all schools must comply with.

"There is no justifiable reason to stop the teaching of these issues.

"To teach children about relationships and omit the fact that LGBT+ couples exist is fundamentally discriminatory. At a time when levels of homophobic and transphobic hate crime are rising in our society, it is more important than ever that we educate young people.

"Roger Godsiff's comments do not reflect the Labour Party's position in any way and his behaviour falls below the standards expected of a Labour MP. He has been formally reprimanded by the Chief Whip and has been warned that he must not repeat such conduct in the future."