Iain Dale, the gay political blogger, has made an official complaint over a Daily Mail article which called him “overtly gay”.
Dale announced this week he had made it to the final seven to be Bracknell’s Tory parliamentary candidate and told PinkNews.co.uk he hoped some of our readers in the area would attend the open primary next month.
In today’s Daily Mail, the Ephraim Hardcastle column says: “Overtly gay Tory blogger Iain Dale has reached the final stage of parliamentary selection for Bracknell, telling PinkNews: ‘I hope any PinkNews readers who live in Bracknell will come to the open primary on October 17 to select their new candidate. You don’t even have to be a Conservative to attend.’
“Isn’t it charming how homosexuals rally like-minded chaps to their cause?”
The column is written by Daily Mail journalist Peter McKay. The newspaper is the one of the most-read dailies in the UK, coming second only to The Sun.
On his website today, Dale wrote: “Just by writing this blogpost, I will probably damage my chances in Bracknell. Some will say ‘if you can’t take the heat…’. But I am damned if I am going to stay silent when I see a national newspaper indulge in a homophobic attack on me.”
Dale, who has written for the newspaper in the past, added he had sent a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.
Citing a story in the newspaper on his civil partnership last year, which he said was “full of innuendo and just plain nastiness”, Dale added: “Normally I would think it’s just not worth bothering with, and accept that in politics you have to take the rough with the smooth.
“But I’m afraid I have had it with the Daily Mail and their particular brand of hate.”
McKay, the editor of the Ephraim Hardcastle column, told PinkNews.co.uk: “I am quite surprised actually. I’ve had lots of his subscribers emailing me.
“I can’t see what the problem is.
“If I was a candidate in Bracknell and I said come and support me whether you’re a Conservative or not, or because I’m homosexual other homosexuals should support me, when else would that happen? We were just pointing that out.
“I don’t think we were unkind. He’s often mentioned in the Daily Mail. It just struck me as an unusual thing to say.”