A single mother and a gay Arab have claimed that they were deselected as Conservative party candidates for next months local elections due to prejudice from the right of the party.
Both Emile al-Uzaizi and Amanda Lloyd-Harris, who claim to be popular serving councillors, argue that their deselection is due to prejudice from right wing elements of the party in Hammersmith and Fulham. They intend to stand against their old party as independent candidates in local elections next month.
One of the Conservative Party’s few openly gay councillors, Mr al-Uzaizi, turned some heads by attending a remembrance day parade in an Arab head dress. He claims that one senior Tory figure took him to task over it, even though he explained that he was wearing part of the Army uniform that his late father had worn during the war, serving under British command in Jordan.
Mr al-Uzaizi, who has been a councillor for 20 years, also claims that one of the party members instrumental in his expulsion routinely referred to homosexuals as “queer boys”.
Mr al-Uzaizi and Ms Lloyd-Harris are both supporters of David Cameron, and appear on his website.
“It is really weird that this is happening in Hammersmith and Fulham at a time when David Cameron is trying to increase the number of women and minority candidates in the Conservative Party,” Mr al-Uzaizi told the Evening Standard.
He said he feared that the party had become very right wing in his area, rather than as Mr Cameron hopes, more accepting. “To deselect the only gay Arab and divorced single mother in the Tory group is hardly a step in that direction”, Mr al-Uzaizi said.
In a letter to party members signed by Tory group leader Stephen Greenhalgh and local MP Greg Hands, the actions are justified in the name of election chances. “We had to put together the best possible team,” the document argues.
“This year the Conservative Party has an excellent chance of winning control of Hammersmith and Fulham council,” the letter concludes.
Mr Cameron was unable to comment.
In no way does PinkNews.co.uk believe that the Conservative party should select candidates solely for the fact that they are gay. Instead the party should select those they feel most represent the electorate regardless of sexuality.
However, the party should address the claims of Mr al-Uzaizi and clarify the reason that he was deselected.
PinkNews.co.uk is pleased to endorse candidates from all political parties who publicly demonstrate a clear commitment to equal rights for LGBT people.
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