Labor leader accuses Tories of being fixated on ‘lanyards and toilet czars’

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Labor leader accuses Tories of being fixated on 'lanyards and toilet czars'

Anneliese Dodds is running for re-election as Labor MP for Oxford East (Alamy)

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Labor leader Anneliese Dodds has said ordinary voters “don’t care” what lanyards people wear, accusing the Conservative government of being “fixated” on culture wars.

Last month, The Telegraph reported that the government planned to ban the hiring of new civil service staff dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Cabinet Office Minister Esther McVey said she believed the civil service was distracted by “woke hobbyhorses”.

She also warned civil servants not to express political views ‘through the back door’ by wearing rainbow lanyards in support of LGBTQ+ rights – although subsequent Cabinet guidelines made no specific reference to the lanyards themselves and instead generally instructed civil servants to use their ‘ political values’. impartiality”.

In an interview with PoliticsHomeDodds suggested that Labor would not follow the Tories’ lead of pushing back on diversity and inclusion as a priority for the civil service and the public sector, and stressed that Labour’s attention would be focused elsewhere when he enters government on July 4 would be chosen.

“We literally have schools right now that are crumbling around the ears of our children. Instead of, [the government] seems to be fixating on whether some civil servants wear a particular lanyard or not,” said the Labor leader, who is also Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equality.

“Labour prioritizes national security, the Conservatives prioritize lanyards and toilet czars.

“What we have seen so far is a government fixated on issues that most ordinary people don’t care about. They don’t care what lanyards people wear. They believe it is important to have a civil service that serves the country, with a government that takes our national interests to heart.”

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Earlier this week, Secretary of State for Women and Equality Kemi Badenoch pledged to redefine the legal definition of the term ‘sex’ in the Equality Act to mean only biological sex, claiming this would help protect same-sex spaces. It is one of several policies announced by the Tory Party during the general election campaign in a bid to avoid defeat by Labor next month.

Dodds confirmed this PoliticsHome that Labor would not change the Equality Act in any way, but said there should be “legal guidance” for service providers to help them understand the legal definitions.

As party chairman, Dodds has also played a key role in developing Labour’s election manifesto, which will be published next week. Asked whether women’s rights and equality would be a prominent part of the manifesto, she said it would generally reflect the “need to ensure our country works better for both women and men”.

“That we pursue equality is fundamental to all missions,” she said, referring to Labor’s pledges to halve violent crime – which includes violence against women and girls – and ensure there are specialists in every 999 control center in the field of domestic violence. specialized courts for hearing rape cases.

She said pursuing a target to reduce black maternal mortality would be fundamental to Labour’s mission to “get the NHS back on its feet”.

“With every mission, we have really considered from the start the impact on people from different backgrounds, including women, Black people, Asian people, people from ethnic minorities, LGBT+ people and people with disabilities.

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“We also took into account the impact on different parts of the country and the socio-economic impact.”

However, she confirmed that the Labor manifesto will be somewhat slimmed down compared to previous general elections, with fewer specific policy commitments.

“Undoubtedly we had what I sometimes described as a policy storm, with large numbers of policies being put in place in a very short period of time,” she said.

“And that is not the case under Keir Starmer. We have had a lengthy process to arrive at a policy that we are confident we can deliver, really focusing on what the implementation will look like.”

A new YouGov A poll has found that, compared to other issues, the British public is relatively more positive about the progress made on equality issues since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

Only 24 percent thought racial equality had gotten worse, 22 percent felt the same about transgender rights and 19 percent about lesbian, gay and bisexual rights – compared to 85 percent who thought the cost of living had gotten worse and 84 percent who believed the National Health Service has deteriorated.

So what did Dodds believe the Conservatives had done right during that time?

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“I believe the British public is way ahead of the Conservative governments,” she said.

“We saw a commitment from Theresa May’s government to progress in some areas. For example, her government has drawn up an LGBT action plan and she has also established the Race Disparity Unit.

“But I have spoken to those involved in these initial efforts, and they are extremely disappointed with what has happened since.”

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