Gingerbread responds to reports of past comments from Prime Minister Boris Johnson on children of single parents

Posted 28 November 2019

Reports today have brought to light negative comments made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the children of single parents in a column published in 1995.

Faye Goldman, Interim Communications and Policy Director at Gingerbread responds:

“Boris Johnson’s past description of single parents is wrong. His stereotyping is a thoughtless and inaccurate characterisation of almost 2 million people.

“Single parent families are part of mainstream life in the UK, with one in four families headed by a single parent. Employment rates for single parents are at a record high, with almost 70% of single parents working in spite of the lack of flexible work and high cost of childcare.

A recent study by Gingerbread and Sheffield University showed that being raised by a single parent has no negative impact on a child’s wellbeing. It is poverty, not the shape or size of their family, that affects children’s ability to achieve their full potential.

“There is still a long way to go to ensure all single parent families achieve the secure foundations they need to flourish. Gingerbread will keep working hard to help change this. In the interim we need to challenge outdated and inaccurate stereotypes.

“Single parents are doing a great job – against all odds.”

3 comments on “Gingerbread responds to reports of past comments from Prime Minister Boris Johnson on children of single parents

  1. More than poverty holds back single parent families.
    Prejudice against single parents is rife still in this country.

    1. Assuming people choose to be single parents as a lifestyle choice is so wrong. The majority of single parents I know including myself are in our situation because of marital breakdown, death of a partner or being left by a spouse/partner through no fault of our own. I don’t think many people would especially “choose” to become a single parent as it’s extremely tough job and working in a job as well as being on your own with children is like working two jobs. It’s just exhausting and certainly isn’t an easy option

    2. There is such stigma around being a single parent. I should feel proud to be on my own and raising my child in a happy and safe environment whilst being a good role model. However I cant help but feel a big label being put on us and Boris’ comments are beyond unhelpful. I look forward to hearing of a single parent calling him out on this.

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