Theresa May has called on Boris Johnson to ban trans ‘conversion therapy.’

Over the last few years, LGBTQ+ activists in the UK have urged the government to ban the practice in its entirety. 

‘Conversion therapy’ is typically defined as any attempt at changing a person’s sexuality or gender identity, often involving techniques such as electroshock therapy or prayer.

In 2018, the former Prime Minister committed to ridding the country of the harmful method. However, since her departure, Johnson has yet to make significant changes. 

Back in April, the government made a U-turn on its decision to ban ‘conversion therapy’ fully, though, after fierce backlash, it made another U-turn and opted just to ban its use on gay people – but not transgender people.

“Recognising the complexity of issues and need for further careful thought, we will carry out separate work to consider the issue of transgender conversion therapy further,” it said in a statement on 4 April.

The government’s decision has since been met with pushback from LGBTQ+ advocates and political figures like May. 

In a recent interview with the i, the 65-year-old urged the country’s current leadership to ban all forms of the traumatic practice. 

“Few people, reading the accounts of trans people in our survey, would disagree that they still face indignities and prejudice when they deserve understanding and respect,” she said. 

“It is nearly five years since that survey was launched, and in that time, the debate about trans people has grown more, not less, divisive.”

May went on to say that just because a topic is “controversial” doesn’t mean that it should be avoided.

“To that end, the Government must keep to its commitment to consider the issue of transgender conversion therapy,” she continued. 

“If it is not to be in the upcoming Bill, then the matter must not be allowed to slide.”

May’s comments come a few weeks after MPs debated banning ‘conversion therapy’ for all LGBTQ+ people after a petition on the issue reached more than 145,000 signatures.

The discussion, which took place on 13 June in Westminster Hall, featured an array of representatives from various parties advocating for a full and comprehensive ban.

Among them was Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North and former Leader of the Labour Party, who compared the current situation to “the grim days of Section 28”.