A Tory candidate whose comments about a gay men’s choir offended some voters has apologised.
David Van Day, a former member of Eurovision-winning group Bucks Fizz, is standing as a Conservative candidate for the East Brighton ward.
At a Valentine’s Day charity fundraising dinner in Brighton Pavilion, Mr Van Day gave a speech after a performance by The Brighton and Hove Actually Gay Men’s Chorus.
The Tory candidate said that the members of the choir “bend over backwards for anybody.”
He went on that he didn’t want to “be behind them at the time.”
Yesterday Mr Van Day said that, “if you want to make something out of it you are stupid.”
One gay man at the fundraiser, Josh Mills, a Brighton resident of the ward where Mr Van Day is a candidate, said he was disgusted by the comments and called on Mr Van Day to stand down.
This morning Mr Van Day was contrite, and said he was sorry for his comments.
“I had not realised that it was an individual that had complained about the joke about the gay men’s choir,” he told PinkNews.co.uk
“If that chap is sincerely offended then I sincerely apologise to him.
“I did not set out to offend anyone, I set out to make people laugh. I do apologise to him.”
Mr Van Day said that his comments were banter, something he had done all his life.
He compared it to comments from Graham Norton or Jonathon Ross on their TV shows.
“I have to understand that as I am now in a political arena people will take things literally.”
Mr Mills, who is lead trustee of Brighton Pride, welcomed Mr Van Day’s statement.
“Anyone who can apologise is good in my book,” he said.
“I wish him well with his campaign.”
However, Mr Mills rejected the comparison with Jonathon Ross’s banter with his house band Three Poofs and a Piano.
“It is the context in which things are done,” he said.
Mr Van Day denied that he had come under pressure from the Conservative party to apologise:
“I did take some advice from colleagues that if someone had been offended then it was fair for me to apologise,” he said.
“From that point of view it seems sensible and the right thing.”