Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham LGBT school row: MP Roger Godsiff given warning

Roger Godsiff, MP for Hall Green. Image copyright UK Parliament
Image caption Roger Godsiff has been warned "he must not repeat such conduct in the future", the Labour Party said

A Labour MP has been warned not to repeat comments in support of protesters in a row over LGBT teaching.

Campaigners had been gathering outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham to argue children were too young to learn about same-sex relationships.

Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff has been formally reprimanded after he was seen in a video agreeing with protesters.

The MP, whose constituency covers the school, has been contacted for comment.

Protests have been taking place outside the school for weeks, with parents saying the teachings contradicted Islam.

Mr Godsiff, who previously said the equality sessions were not "age appropriate", was seen in a video telling lead organiser Shakeel Afsar the protesters had "just cause".

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said she had reported the comments to the chief whip, Nick Brown.

The Labour Party said it has "long supported and campaigned for LGBT+ inclusive education in schools."

"To teach children about relationships and omit the fact that LGBT+ couples exist is fundamentally discriminatory," it said.

"Roger Godsiff's comments do not reflect the Labour Party's position in any way and his behaviour falls below the standards expected of a Labour MP.

"He has been formally reprimanded by the chief whip and has been warned that he must not repeat such conduct in the future."

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Media captionSaidah Sultana said she had seen children "worried" coming into school

Mr Godsiff's stance also drew criticism from constituents, including comedian Joe Lycett.

He wrote a widely shared open letter to the MP asking him what he was doing "to make LGBT people...feel like they aren't being treated as second class citizens".

An injunction has been put in place to keep protesters from gathering at the gates, until a trial next month which will decide whether they can continue.

Staff at the school said having the injunction has "made a massive difference" at the school.

Image caption Protests have taken place at Anderton Park Primary School for about 10 weeks

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