Iain Anderson has resigned from his role as the government’s LGBTQ+ Business Champion because of its stance on a trans ‘conversion therapy’ ban.
Liz Truss previously announced his appointment on 10 September 2021, stating that the role would see Anderson collaborate with businesses to support the community in the workplace as he attempts to find solutions to workplace discrimination.
However, after the government’s recent flip-flopping on banning ‘conversion therapy’ – a commitment first made in 2018 – Anderson has opted to leave the role, ITV News reported.
“Britain needs a strategy for trans people and I can’t see one at the moment,” he explained.
“We have a tabloid debate going on about people’s lives. It’s not a respectful debate, it’s turned into a woke war. It’s turned into a wedge issue… I was LGBT Business Champion not LGB or T, and that’s why I’m walking away.”
Anderson accused the government of “trying to drive a wedge” between the LGBTQ+ community through its policies.
— Iain Anderson 🇺🇦 (@iain_w_anderson) April 5, 2022
His resignation comes as more than 100 organisations dropped out of the government’s Safe to Be Me conference, which is due to take place this summer to coincide with the 50th anniversary of London’s first Pride marches.
Among these are Stonewall, the Terrence Higgins Trust and the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics.
“Trans people are no less worth of respect, care and protection than cis lesbian, gay and bi people. If the UK government cannot stand behind and respect all LGBTQ+ people’s fundamental human rights, it should not be convening an LGBTQ+ rights conference on the global stage,” Stonewall said in a statement on 4 April.