The Conservative Party may join forces with one of Europe’s most homophobic political parties.
David Cameron, Conservative Party leader, has sanctioned talks with Poland’s governing party, whose policies include banning gay pride marches.
The negotiations with the Law and Justice party, which were criticised last night by gay rights campaigners, highlight the challenge facing Mr Cameron as he seeks to break away from Europe’s main centre-right grouping.
William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, confirmed yesterday that he would have nothing to do with supporters of, or heirs to, fascist parties, but he has allowed talks with Poland’s Law and Justice party.
Lech Kaczynski, Poland’s president, who is a key figure in the controversial party, banned gay rights marches when he was mayor of Warsaw. He is also known as a staunch supporter of the death penalty.
Michael Cashman, the Labour MEP, last night criticised the negotiations, which come a week after the Law and Justice party spoke out in the European parliament against gay rights. “The omens are deeply worrying. Cosying up to the Law and Justice party indicates to me proof positive that David Cameron is using the tactics of George Bush’s compassionate Conservatism in order to achieve power, at which point he will reveal his true colours,” he said.
Timothy Kirkhope, The Conservative leader in the European Parliament is said to be horrified by the proposal to break links with Europe’s key centre-right parties, such as Angela Merkel’s governing CDU party in Germany and France’s governing UMP party.
Mr Kirkhope looked deeply uncomfortable as he sat next to Mr Hague, who himself negotiated a semi-detached relationship with the centre-right grouping in the parliament.
He said in the Guardian: “My duty is to do the best for my delegation in bringing the Conservative message but also in making sure we are aware of our responsibilities.”
In the run up to his election as Tory leader, Mr Cameron secured the support of his party’s most prominent gay figure, Alan Duncan. Mr Cameron has also previously pointed to a break from the Conservatives’ deep-rooted homophobia.
PinkNews.co.uk attempted to contact the Conservative Party but no spokesperson was available for comment.