Roger Godsiff

LGBT teaching row: 'Reactionaries want people back in the closet'

An MP says LGBT people must not be sent "back in the closet" over a row about teaching relationship and equality issues to primary school children.

One Birmingham school has been scene to weeks of protests over the issue, with a recent court ruling forcing demonstrators - mainly muslim - further away from the school gates.

Protesters say the teaching is incompatible with their faith and primary school children are too young to be introduced to same-sex relationships by way of story books featuring different kinds of families.

A debate on the matter is under way in the Commons, having been introduced by Birmingham Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff who has previously supported protesters - for which he was given a warning by Labour's chief whip.

He told the house parents had "just reason to complain and protest", saying the demonstrations "could have been avoided if the schools had taught the provisions of the Equality Act in different ways and taken the parents' concerns into account".

But his Labour colleague, Wallesey MP Angela Eagle, told the Commons: "We know the motivation of some of those involved in this are reactionary and they are to return us to an era where LGBT people should get back in the closet, and hide and be ashamed of the way we are".

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MP defends constituency after crash terror arrest

The MP whose area covers Sparkbrook has spoken to BBC WM in the wake of the arrest of Westminster terror suspect Salih Khater, who is believed to have lived in the area.

Mr Khater is being held on suspicion of terrorism after the car crash outside the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday morning.

Later that day Labour's Roger Godsiff tweeted: "Today's attack at Westminster was carried out by an individual who is believed to have been living in my constituency in Birmingham. My deepest sympathies to the cyclists and pedestrians who were injured in the attack."

Salih Khater

The vast majority of people living in my constituency of the Sparkbrook area, they are very much law abiding and want to be left to get on with their lives. They want nothing whatsoever to do with a small minority who want to destroy our society and theirs

Roger GodsiffLabour MP for Birmingham Hall Green