THE UK Government has been dealt an embarrassing blow as more than 80 gay rights groups have pulled out of its LGBT conference.

Stonewall has led the move to abandon the Government’s Safe To Be Me conference after commitments to ban trans conversion therapy were ditched.

The LGBT community reacted furiously to the news that a forthcoming bill to outlaw conversion practices will not include trans conversion therapy.

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Conversion practices involve LGBT people being subject to treatments intended to make them straight or cisgendered.

In a statement signed by 89 LBGT rights groups, Boris Johnson was singled out and accused of breaking his promises to the queer community.

The statement said: “That the Prime Minister would so casually walk away from four years of promises to the LGBTQ+ community is appalling, and we cannot in good conscience back Safe To Be Me at a time when our community’s trust in the UK Government is shattered.”

It will come as a blow to the Government ahead of what was being touted as the country’s first global LGBT conference and the largest of its kind.

By abandoning the commitment to outlaw trans conversion therapy, the statement said, “trans people have once again been sacrificed for political gain”.

It continued: “We recognise that in response to outrage from the LGBTQ+ community and our allies, the Prime Minister’s position has shifted.  He now proposes a partial ban, one that protects lesbian, gay and bi cis people, but leaves trans people, including trans children, at continued risk of abuse.

“This is out of step with every other nation that has recently introduced a ban conversion therapy, and ignores all credible international research that is available, including the position of the UN Independent Expert.”

Religious leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, organised under the Oasis Trust charity co-signed a letter condemning the Prime Minister for excluding trans conversion from the proposed ban.

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Prayer is one of many forms of conversion therapy and some religious organisations have said the contents of prayer should not be restricted by the law.

The letter, seen by ITV, read: “To be trans is to enter a sacred journey of becoming whole.

“To allow those discerning this journey to be subject to coercive or undermining practices is to make prayer a means of one person manipulating another.

“It is a wrong-headed notion of care and a wrong-headed understanding of conversion.”

Stonewall added it remains a co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition and will continue to be a part of the international group’s conference this year, which is separate from the Safe To Be Me event.

A government spokesperson said: “It is disappointing to see partners withdraw from an international conference focused on the fundamental human rights issues facing LGBT people around the world and which provides a global platform to create positive change.

“The government is now considering how to proceed and will continue to work alongside global forums, including the ERC and EFPN, to convene international partners and drive forward action.

“The UK has a proud history of LGBT rights and the Prime Minister has been very clear he is committed to bringing forward legislation to ban conversion therapy.

 “He has made the point emphatically that people who want to make a transition in their lives should be treated with the maximum possible generosity and respect, but the complexity of issues requires separate work to further consider transgender conversation therapy.”