As the row over LGBT+ education in schools rages on, Labour MP Roger Godsiff has admitted he didn’t bother to read the LGBT-inclusive children’s books before attacking them publicly.
Birmingham MP Godsiff initially said it was not “age appropriate” for five-year-olds to learn about the existence of gay people.
In an interview with the Birmingham Mail, he appeared to side with anti-LGBT+ protesters who have opposed LGBT-inclusive education in primary schools.
He referenced picture book My Chacha is Gay, a story about a Pakistani boy who has a gay uncle. He also has a problem with My Princess Boy, a story about a boy who likes to wear princess dresses which, it's worth noting, doesn't even reference sexuality directly.
Though during in an interview with the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire, Godsiff admitted that he had not read the books.
After he said he understood why parents were worried about their children coming home with such books, he admitted:
I’ve only seen the front page.
He then insinuated that the only information he knew about the books had been given to him by anti-LGBT protesters, adding:
It’s an issue for a number of parents at the school. That was one of the documents I was given by some of the protesters as a cover of one of the books given to children.
I think that is a matter for the school and the parents to discuss when the parents will be comfortable with their child [learning about gay people].
Godsiff’s comments have been criticised by his Labour colleagues.
Earlier this week, MP Jess Phillips was seen confronting a protester and voicing her opposition to such tactics. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has not commented on Godsiff's comments, which are against official Labour Party policy.
Comedian Joe Lycett has also been vocal on the matter, sharing a letter he wrote to Godsiff, his local MP.
If you want to see what all the fuss is about, this video shows one of the books that is currently being opposed by protesters outside schools in Birmingham.