Boris Johnson admits there is ‘painfully large gap’ in LGBT equality

Boris Johnson tonight admitted there is a "painfully large gap" in equality as he voiced support for the LGBT community over school protests.

Mr Johnson said the experience of LGBT people in the UK "has to change and is changing" but added: "There is still a long, long way to go."

He added he will "make sure that every young person feels safe at school" – a slapdown to Birmingham protesters who have opposed classes on LGBT equality.

The Tory leader – who branded gay men “tank-topped bumboys" in a 1998 newspaper column – was due to make the comments in a video message to the PinkNews awards.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was also expected to address tonight's event in Westminster attended by Keir Starmer and Diane Abbott, Equalities minister Baroness Williams, and celebs Hugh Grant, John Barrowman and Gareth Gates.

Mr Johnson was due to say: "I am immensely proud to live in and to be Prime Minister of one of the most progressive countries in the world, the most liberal countries in the world as far as LGBT equality is concerned."

He added: "As Prime Minister, I’m gonna make sure that every young person feels safe at school and that teachers reflect Britain as it is, in all its diversity because that is to the advantage of our country."

And he said: "You don’t need me to tell you that there is still a long, long way to go.

"And there’s still a painfully large gap between what the law says should happen and the lived experience of LGBT people across the UK.

"That has to change and it is changing and the fact that it’s changing is thanks in no small part to the people here tonight."

Mr Johnson voiced his support for LGBT people less than two weeks after a row over reforms for transgender people being "kicked into the long grass".

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