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Equal Rights Coalition

Volume 655: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2019

The UK looks forward to co-chairing the Equal Rights Coalition with Argentina from May this year. We will use our role to promote and protect LGBT rights globally.

I thank the Minister for that answer. It is good news that the UK is taking over this role, but the Equal Rights Coalition is in its infancy and needs more work to ensure that the global fight for LGBT rights is effective. Will the Minister assure me that she will commit sufficient resources to the UK’s chairmanship of the Equal Rights Coalition and ensure effective co-ordination between Departments in this important year?

I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend’s leadership and to his all-party parliamentary group on global lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights for drawing cross-Government work together. I can assure him, on behalf of both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, that we will certainly give the organisation the resourcing it needs. He will be aware that its work fits in with the Equalities Office’s overall strategy, including the international element.

We have seen a repressive crackdown on the LGBT community in Egypt, with routine detentions even for waving rainbow flags on social media. What can the Minister do to raise such concerns? Does she still believe, as the previous Foreign Secretary claimed, that—[Interruption.]

Does she still believe, as the previous Foreign Secretary claimed, that the UK should act as a champion for the Sisi regime that is carrying out the repression?

I can reassure the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East and our ambassador to Egypt regularly raise the examples that the hon. Gentleman cites as part of the ongoing engagement with the Egyptian Government.