Joanna Williams

Why are MPs endorsing Stonewall’s rainbow laces campaign?

A Premier League player wearing Stonewall's 'rainbow laces' (Credit: Getty images)

Our Members of Parliament are not short of stuff to do. There’s immigration – of the legal and illegal varieties – an economy on life support, post-lockdown problems with education, mental health and getting people back to work, as well as the NHS collapsing under the weight of its own waiting lists. Yet, remarkably, ten of our trusted representatives have found time amid their crushing schedules to become part of a charity’s marketing campaign.

The Labour party features heavily, with Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Stella Creasy, Angela Eagle and several others putting in an appearance; Alison Thewliss and Kirsten Oswald from the SNP are game, and so, too, are a number of Tories. But what important cause unites this cross-party group? Hungry children? Homelessness? No! It’s the 10th anniversary of Stonewall’s ‘rainbow laces’ campaign, designed to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, while shifting overpriced shoelaces and raising the charity’s profile.

Stonewall knows that when it asks for MPs to be filmed doing something silly, there will be no shortage of volunteers

Stonewall knows that when it asks for MPs to be filmed doing something silly, there will be no shortage of volunteers. It seems this latest stunt, headlined ‘Let’s #KeepItUp for #LGBTQ inclusion in sport,’ should have been cleverly edited to suggest our MPs were catching rainbow laces as they were thrown from one to another. Had this actually happened, they would have been literally ‘keeping it up’ for LGBTQ inclusion, and the campaign would at least have made some kind of sense.

Alas, it seems that Westminster’s finest were overly challenged by the whole throwing and catching malarky. While Kim Leadbeater, Russell-Moyle and Creasy all put up a good show, the concept was lost on the rest. What’s left is a cringe-inducing display of MPs looking proud of themselves for performing a trick usually mastered by pre-schoolers.

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