LGBT+ History: Out MP’s

Throughout the History series this year we have looked at many milestones including the first MP’s to come out so it is not difficult to wonder how things have now changed.  The picture above was taken by the Independent on Sunday.  It features as many of the LGB politicians as they could find of the 32 LGB members of the House of Commons who were elected in 2015.

After this was taken more politicians got added to the list, including David Mundell who became the first openly gay Conservative cabinet minister after outing himself in his blog ( in January 2016.  The then Prime Minister David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, both expressed their strongest support for him.  He wasnt the first Cabinet minister to come out as that honour was still held by Chris Smith for Labour back in 1997.

Justin Greening later also announced she was in a same-sex relationship making her the first openly gay woman in a Conservative cabinet.  Her timing for this was chosen to be made during the London Pride parade.  Her announcement triggered a flurry of support from Twitter users including the Chancellor.

So who are the people who made the photograph above (courtesy of the Independent)

1 Hannah Bardell The SNP’s business, innovation and skills spokeswoman came out to “herself” during the general election last year.

2 Angela Crawley The 28-year-old was the national convener of the SNP’s youth wing before winning Lanark and Hamilton East in 2015.

3 Cat Smith  – Jeremy Corbyn can count his shadow minister for women as one of his few true supporters among MPs – she used to work for him.

4 Mike Freer Parliamentary aide to Chris Grayling, the Leader of the House of Commons, since June, he previously resigned from the Government over a vote to recognise the Palestinian state.

5 Ben Howlett After winning Bath last year, the 29-year-old said the Conservatives were “more open on equality issues” than when he joined the party in 2004. (Ousted in 2017 Election)

6 Ray Collins, Baron Collins of Highbury The Labour peer praised David Cameron for “being prepared to stand up and be counted” for supporting equal marriage.

7 Jonathan Oates, Baron Oates of Denby Grange Chief of staff to Nick Clegg during the coalition years, Lord Oates has been a regular on The Independent on Sunday’s Pink and Rainbow Lists.

8 Gerald Jones The Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP started campaigning during the miners’ strike, aged 14, and joined Labour in 1988.

9 Joanna Cherry The Edinburgh QC is considered one of the true stars of the SNP’s 50 new MPs, having set up the “Lawyers for Yes” pro-independence group.

10 Iain Stewart The Milton Keynes South MP is a former deputy chairman of LGBTory, and won plaudits for a speech during the last parliament on how he was bullied at school for being gay.

11 Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury As plain Chris Smith in the 1980s, he made history by being the first openly gay man in the Commons. He was made Culture Secretary in 1987.

12 Chris Bryant The shadow Leader of the House of Commons is one of the wittiest Labour MPs in the Commons and has written two volumes of the history of the UK Parliament.

13 Stuart Andrew Parliamentary private secretary to the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, he told the Commons three years ago of how he was once “beaten unconscious” in a homophobic attack.

14 Margot James The first openly lesbian Conservative MP has said her party took “far too long” to accept greater equality, but insists “those days have passed”.

15 John Nicolson The former BBC and ITV journalist joined the SNP aged 16 and was nominated as a parliamentary candidate by Alex Salmond, the former Scottish first minister. (Ousted in 2017 Election)

16 Brian Paddick, Baron Paddick of Brixton The two-time Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor was previously famous for being the country’s most senior openly gay police officer.

17 Peter Kyle The 45-year-old Labour MP for Hove is a former chief executive at the charity leaders group Acevo and sits on the Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.

18 Crispin Blunt The Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee chair recently stunned Conservative colleagues when he announced during a Commons debate that he uses the party drug poppers.

19 Waheed Alli, Baron Alli of Norbury The 51-year-old is an openly gay Muslim who made his fortune in the media industry before becoming a peer in 1998.

20 Wes Streeting Long destined for political stardom, the former NUS president signalled his political leanings in January by stating he’d happily snog Tony Blair.

21 Martin Docherty Something of an extrovert, the SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire arrived at this photoshoot asking, loudly, “Where are the gays?”

22 Nia Griffith The shadow Welsh Secretary was married once, but is publicly coming out through this article, although her friends and family already knew.

23 David Mundell The Secretary of State for Scotland became the first ever openly gay Conservative cabinet minister last month, a decision he said was “one of the most important” of his life.

24 Angela Eagle The formidable shadow First Secretary of State brilliantly bested George Osborne at Prime Minister’s Questions, when the two stood in for their leaders in December.

25 Alan Duncan The former international development minister was the first leading Tory to enter a civil partnership in 2008.

26 Stewart McDonald The Glasgow South SNP MP, a member of the Commons Transport Select Committee, declared his party to be the “gayest group in Westminster” last year, with 12 per cent out.

27 Jenny Hilton, Baroness Hilton of Eggardon The 80-year-old former Metropolitan Police commander joined Labour’s red benches in 1991 and sits on the Sexual Violence in Conflict Committee.

28 Liz Barker, Baroness Barker of Anagach The 55-year-old Lib Dem came out during a debate on equal marriage in 2013, citing the fact that she had to “declare an interest”.

Following the General Election called in 2017, the Independent reported that British voters had returned a record number of LGBTQ MP’s to their seats when they elected 45 LGB members back into parliament.  The highest proportion of elected members was in the SNP with 7 of its 35 members identifying as LGBTQ.  The remaining 38 were split equally between the Conservative and Labour parties.  Sophie Cook who was aiming to be the first openly transgender MP missed out by a little over 5000 votes.

The Pink News has an article which identifies all the new and re-elected members into Parliament and also includes the two who lost their seats.

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