On Wednesday evening at the PinkNews Edinburgh Summer reception at The Scottish Parliament, Scottish Conservative Shadow Justice Secretary Jamie Greene MSP, criticised the UK Government on its ‘indefensible’ LGBTQ+ policies. These include the policy of excluding transgender people from protection for its proposed conversion therapy ban as well as the government’s failure to reform the Gender Recognition Act first promised by former Prime Minister, Theresa May, at the PinkNews Awards 2017.

Greene’s comments come just days after Boris Johnson made inflammatory remarks relating to trans women. 

At the annual PinkNews Edinburgh Summer Reception Greene said: “I’m not a member of the UK Government first of all, I want to make that clear, and it’s not my job to defend the indefensible.”

Speaking to PinkNews immediately after his speech, Greene added: “We  [The Conseratives] made a commitment to do that [trans inclusive conversion therapy], it was very explicit, and I think it was welcomed at the time and we should stick to it. [People are] perfectly entitled to believe what they believe, but this is a whole other ballgame. We made a commitment to the LGBTQ+ community that we would ban conversion therapy. We should fulfil that promise and the Scottish government should do exactly the same. We should do it here, we should do it in Westminster, we should do it in Wales, we should do it in Northern Ireland.” 

Speaking further about reforming the Gender Recognition Act, he said: “I hope the UK Government reflects on commitments that they’ve made. I think commitments are important to people.”

Greene is the most senior LGBTQ+ Conservative to speak out against the UK Government’s u-turn on both the reform of the Gender Recognition Act and the exclusion of transgender people from the proposed conversion therapy ban.

Additionally, Greene spoke about hate crime, healthcare inequality and various other issues before saying: “I will not fail to hold the government to account. I don’t think I could look myself in the mirror if I didn’t.” 

Search on social media for the hashtag #PinkNewsEdinburgh for other coverage of the event.

Jamie Greene MSP at the Pinknews reception

The annual PinkNews Edinburgh Summer Reception was held at The Garden Lobby within The Scottish Parliament and supported by Annie Wells MSP, alongside charity partners LGBT Health & Wellbeing. Jamie spoke to members of the LGBTQ+ community and businesses alongside PinkNews Founder and CEO Benjamin Cohen, Annie Wells MSP, Conservatives and Community Development Worker at LGBT+ Health & Wellbeing Jules Stapleton-Barnes. The PinkNews Edinburgh Reception also heard first-hand accounts from a parent of a trans teen read by Susan Lancaster from LGBT Health & Wellbeing and LGBT Health & Wellbeing service users Nicola Johnston. 

Also in attendance and speaking at the event were the following: 

  • Christina McKelvie, SNP Minister for Equalities and Older People
  • Alex Cole-Hamilton, Leader of the Scottish Lib Dems
  • Patrick Harvie, Co-Leader of the Scottish Greens and Minister in the Scottish Government 
  • Pam Duncan Glancy MSP, Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Social Security 

The Edinburgh Summer Reception is this year’s second in the annual series of events hosted by PinkNews with the global media company hosting receptions in each of the UK’s devolved administrations of Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast in addition to a final summer reception held at Westminster.

The purpose of each event is to bring together key politicians across all political parties within each nation to meet and speak with the  LGBTQ+ community. The receptions are also an opportunity to celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community during Pride month and for the political parties to announce new legislation or key changes to policy within the LGBTQ+ space.