Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk MP warns of “unintended consequences” of gay-to-straight conversion therapy ban

15:25 14 January 2014

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich


Banning gay-to-straight conversion therapy could have “unintended consequences” on people coming to terms with their sexuality, a health minister has said.


Dr Dan Poulter said he found the so-called gay cures “absolutely abhorrent” in principle, as Labour’s Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West, urged him to ban them.

But Dr Poulter said regulations or a ban on the therapy, which seeks to turn gay people straight, could stop counsellors from providing the “important service” of supporting people coming to terms with their sexual orientation.

The minister told Mr Davies: “On the point specifically... of the principle of what you say about a gay-to-straight aversion therapy, I also find that absolutely - in principle - abhorrent.

“But the issue is... if we were potentially to ban or put regulations in about that it may have unintended consequences.

“We may affect counsellors and stop counsellors from practising through supporting people coming to terms with their sexuality and that important service is delivered and one that I hope on both sides of this House we can support.”

Mr Davies had asked Dr Poulter during health questions: “You know that under this Government the number of people referred to psychotherapists and counsellors has tripled to a million at a cost of £400 million and some of these are faced with so-called gay-to-straight conversion therapy.

“When will you support my Bill to regulate psychotherapists and ban so-called gay cures, which cause enormous trauma amongst its victims and being promoted this Thursday at a big conference in Westminster?”

Mr Davies presented his Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill as a private member’s bill last October. It is due to have a second reading next month.

On the issue of therapist spending, Dr Poulter replied to Mr Davies: “The reason, I’m sure you’re aware, there has been increased referrals to therapists is because this Government is investing in early intervention and ensuring that we make sure that we invest in the Iapt (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programme so we can get to people with mental health problems much earlier and give them better support before they reach the point of crisis.”



The launch of 'Pigs Gone Wild' at Trinity Park.

A piggie parade that is set to draw many visitors to Ipswich and raise £100,000 for a hospice charity took off in style last night at a glittering launch event.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service attended two road traffic collisions this evening.

Needham Road in Stowmarket where the crash took place

An 81-year-old cyclist who sustained serious injuries following a collision in Stowmarket last week has died.

Chelmsford Crown Court

Two teenagers that caused extensive burns to a Witham man’s face after throwing a corrosive liquid at him in a case of mistaken identity have been found guilty.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance is in attendance.

A woman has suffered a “potentially life-changing” head injury during a crash in Beccles.

Pc Jason Lambourne

When Pc Jason Lambourne isn’t working for Suffolk Constabulary, he dons another emergency services uniform for work as an extra in hit television shows and films, including the latest 007 movie.

The area off Mount Pleasant in Framlingham which could see 95 new homes built on it.

Campaigners have been left “outraged” after a decision on whether to allow 95 homes to be built on greenfield land in a historic market town was deferred.

Michael Scott, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust . Photo: Steve Adams

A lack of beds and increased demand led to a four-fold increase in the cost of sending people with mental health problems outside of Norfolk and Suffolk in 2014/15.

Police have arrested a woman on suspicion of drink-driving.

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after her car mounted a roundabout and collided with a sign.

Police called following contentious meeting of Long Melford Parish Council

Police were called to “restore order” at a parish council meeting in a picture postcard Suffolk village because one of the councillors claimed he “feared for his safety”.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages