Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. On one thing about the NHS, Jeremy Hunt is right (Guardian)

The health secretary isn't meddling, says Steve Richards. He must be accountable to the taxpayers who fund the NHS.

2. It is high time we raised interest rates and returned to normality (Daily Telegraph)

Persisting with this monetary stimulus will delay recovery and sow seeds of future crises, argues Jeremy Warner.

3. Little England should prepare a big welcome (Times)

We need immigrants and most see themselves as British, writes Philip Collins. So what happens if Britain gets broken up?

4. If you want to curb immigration, pay workers a living wage (Guardian)

Cheapskate employers are importing what too often looks like serf-labour instead of hiring ethically at home, says Polly Toynbee.

5. Call out the troops to deal with McCluskey and Co? Not any more (Independent)

We now know that through the summer of 1984, the government was not as confident as it pretended to be that the strike would fail, writes Andy McSmith. 

6. Europe must rebuild faith in democracy (Financial Times)

Voters are frustrated that they exert less influence than ever over elites, writes Tony Barber.

7. Richard Haass’s talks will not have failed if Britain accepts it must now get real on Northern Ireland (Independent)

The Good Friday Agreement was not a prelude to greater integration, writes Mary Dejevsky.

8. The young people failed by society's tyranny of the norm (Guardian)

In schools and wider society we still fear, mock and segregate young people who, like my brother, have learning disabilities, says Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett. 

9. A year in a word: Abenomics (Financial Times)

The premise of Shinzo Abe’s economic plan is that 15 years of deflation have sapped Japan’s 'animal spirits', writes David Pilling. 

10. Furious rail commuters are switching their targets (Times)

Anger is moving from companies to politicians, says Gaby Hinsliff. 

Twitter and Getty
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Diane Abbott tweeting the fake lesbian quote won’t detract from Theresa May’s gay rights record

The shadow home secretary tweeted a quote about lesbians which can’t be traced to the Prime Minister.

Diane Abbott has deleted her tweet of a quote that’s been whizzing around Twitter, supposedly attributed to Theresa May.

The meme suggests that the Prime Minister, when a councillor in Merton and Wimbledon in the Eighties, once said: “Curbing the promotion of lesbianism in Merton’s schools starts with girls having male role models in their lives.”


Twitter screengrab

But there is no evidence available to prove that May ever said this. The quotation was investigated by Gay Star News and BuzzFeed when it started being shared ahead of the election. Just like Dan Hannan's pictures from his country walk and erm, pretty much every pro-Leave politician suggesting the NHS would get £350m extra a week after Brexit, Abbott’s tweet was a bad idea. It’s good she deleted it.

However, this doesn’t take away from Theresa May’s poor track record on gay rights, which has been collated by PinkNews and others:

1998: She voted against reducing the age of consent for gay sex.

1999: She voted against equalising the age of consent, again.

2000: She voted against repealing Section 28, and Vice has uncovered an interview she did in her forties with a student paper when she said “most parents want the comfort of knowing Section 28 is there”, referring to the legislation stopping “the promotion of homosexuality in schools”.

2000: She did not show up to another vote on making the age of consent for gay people equal to the one for straight people.

2001: She voted against same-sex adoption.

2002: She voted against same-sex adoption, again.

2003: She did not vote on repealing Section 28.

2004: She missed all four votes on the gender recognition bill. (But she did vote in favour of civil partnerships this year).

2007: She missed a vote on protecting gay people from discrimination (the part of the Equality Act that would prevent b&bs and wedding cake makers discriminating against gay people, for example).

2008: She opposed IVF for same-sex couples, voting in favour of a child needing a “father and mother” before allowing a woman to have IVF treatment.

Since then, May has softened her stance on gay rights, apologised for her past voting record, and voted in favour of same-sex marriage. “I have changed my view. If those votes were taken today, I would take a different vote,” she said.

But your mole can think of at least one politician who’s always been on the right side of history regarding gay rights. Diane Abbott.

I'm a mole, innit.