First UK LGBT business champion appointed.

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The UK’s first LGBT business champion has pledged to build a bridge between the government and the LGBT community.

Iain Anderson, executive chairman of public relations firm Cicero, will focus on improving workplace equality at a small business level.

One CIPD report suggested 40% of LGBT employees had experienced conflict at work, rising to 55% of trans employees.

Earlier this year, the government’s LGBT advisory panel was disbanded after several members quit.

One, Jayne Ozanne, accused the government of creating a “hostile environment” for LGBT people.

The members left over the government’s handling of LGBT rights and amid claims it was “dragging its feet” on a pledge to ban so-called conversion therapy.

“I definitely see my role as a link between the LGBT community, government and business and I want to build a bridge between the three parties,” Mr Anderson said.

“If businesses see me, and in turn government, putting in place tangible ways to allow LGBT people to be themselves, they’ll understand that this is a priority area and do more about it.”

Mr Anderson, a Stonewall ambassador, was appointed to the new unpaid position by equalities minister Liz Truss.

He told the BBC that the UK had “come a long way” on LGBT issues, but there was “still a lot of prejudice and discrimination out there”.

He added that large firms had put in a lot of work on improving conditions for LGBT workers and he wanted to help small firms “buddy up” with bigger companies to learn from their experiences.

“I don’t want this to be a burden, I want this to be an opportunity,” he added.

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