The government has dropped plans to introduce a new law to ban conversion therapy.

Theresa May had initially promised in 2018 the practice, which attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, would be outlawed – and her successor Boris Johnson also said it would be.

But on Thursday, a government spokesman told Sky News that ministers will instead review how existing law can be used more effectively to prevent it.
He said: “Having explored this sensitive issue in great depth the government has decided to proceed by reviewing how existing law can be deployed more effectively to prevent this in the quickest way possible, and explore the use of other non-legislative measures.”

The U-turn comes just a day after equalities minister Mike Freer told MPs the government was “wholly committed” to legislating to ban conversion therapy.

In the Queen’s Speech last year, the government promised to bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy.
It said: “We will ban conversion therapy to prevent these abhorrent practices which can cause mental and physical harm.
“People should be free to be themselves in the UK. The ban will eliminate coercive practices which cause mental and physical harm to individuals.
“We will ensure the action we take to stop this practice is proportionate and effective, and does not have unintended consequences.

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