Cass Review

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 5:35 pm ar 15 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 5:35, 15 Ebrill 2024

I welcome all those who have changed their minds about this critical issue. In order to move forward and get on with the vital work that Dr Cass recommends, we need more people to face up to the truth, no matter how uncomfortable that makes them feel. I hope the hon. Gentleman has the humility to understand that the ideology that he and his colleagues espoused was part of the problem. He talked about the culture and the toxicity of the debate. Does he understand the hurt that he caused to people when he told them to “just get over it”? Does he know that when he and his friends on the left spent the last decade crying, “Culture wars,” when legitimate concerns were raised created an atmosphere of intimidation, with the impact on the workforce that he rightly described? People were scared or worried to go into it.

Does the hon. Gentleman now have the good grace to apologise to those who have been maligned in public life—including his own female colleagues—and for the chilling effect that this has had on clinicians, journalists and campaigners who were trying to raise the alarm? I say that because I want to believe the hon. Gentleman when he says that he has turned a corner on this issue. We have to start with a new page, for the sake not just of the children and young people we are looking after but of their families, many of whom will be watching this, living with the consequences of the ideology and secrecy, wondering how on earth the hon. Gentleman talks about general elections when, every single minute and day, their children have to live with treatment that can never be reversed.