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Exclusive: Jeremy Corbyn warns Theresa May must protect LGBT rights

PinkNews ExclusiveJeremy Corbyn has warned Theresa May that she must not abandon LGBT rights in favour of “clinging to power” by aligning with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The Labour leader said that a coalition between the Conservatives and the DUP could have a negative impact on LGBT rights.

Speaking to PinkNews, Corbyn said: “LGBT rights are human rights. They must not be sold out by Theresa May and the Conservatives as they try to cling to power with the DUP.”

Corbyn’s comments come after Downing Street announced that the Conservatives and DUP were nearing a final deal on an alliance which would support May’s minority government.

Theresa May was left eight seats short of an overall majority in the general election this week. The DUP, an anti-LGBT party, won 10 seats.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning (June 11), Corbyn said that it was possible there would be another election this year unless a stable government could be formed.

“It is quite possible there will be an election later this year or early next year and that might be a good thing because we cannot go on with a period of great instability.

“We have a programme, we have support and we are ready to fight another election campaign as soon as may be,” he added.

Sir Michael Fallon, who has a historically bad voting record on LGBT rights, was also interviewed by Marr.

When asked if he was repulsed by gay people Sir Fallon said: “Just because they’re [the DUP] agreeing to support us on the economic issues and security issues facing this country it doesn’t mean that we now agree with all of their views.

He added: “We do not agree and do not have to agree with any of their views on any of these social issues and I certainly don’t.”

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer turned London Evening Standard editor George Osborne also appeared on the show.

Osborne said that Prime Minister May was a “dead woman walking” following the general election.

He added that the party had no choice but to strike a deal with the DUP, despite the party’s attitudes to social issues such including LGBT rights and abortion laws.

“I reject all of those views personally, but the Tory party doesn’t have a choice in order to get a majority,” he said.

The Conservatives have been warned that attempting to form a government with the help of the DUP could be detrimental to LGBT rights.

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, said that she was more committed to LGBT rights than the party.

Davidson told the BBC: “It’s [LGBT rights] an issue very close to my heart and one that I wanted categoric assurances from the Prime Minister on, and I received [them].”

The DUP has stalled all progress on equal marriage in Northern Ireland, and previously supported the introduction of a ‘conscience clause’ to protect people who discriminate against LGBT people.

The ultra-conservative party which is headed by Arlene Foster has supported the “conscience clause” which would protect those who discriminate against LGBT people because of religion.

The party has also garnered a reputation for being anti-women as it supports a 155-year-old law which can punish women with life imprisonment for terminating a pregnancy.

May pledged to PinkNews that the Gender Recognition Act would be reformed in the next parliament, saying that “the legal process to change their gender can be distressing, so changes do need to be made.”

It remains to be seen how a partnership with the extremely conservative DUP would affect this promise.

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