At a rally in Leeds, Conservative leader David Cameron included gay people in his list of the “great ignored” who he is fighting the election for. The inclusion followed an accidental omission in the speech he gave in London to launch the election campaign.
According to the published version of the London speech, Mr Cameron was due to say: “We’re fighting this election for the Great Ignored – young, old, rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight.
“They start businesses, operate factories, teach our children, clean the streets, grow our food and keep us healthy – keep us safe. They work hard, pay their taxes, obey the law.”
But what he actually said was: “Let me tell you who I’m fighting the election for. It’s for the people I call the great ignored. They may be black or white, rich or poor, they may live in the town or country.
In Leeds, he said that his party would stand up for people regardless of whether they are “gay or straight.”
The London speech was delivered without an auto-cue and it is likely that Mr Cameron simply omitted the references to gay people by accident. After PinkNews.co.uk first pointed out the omission, a Conservative Party spokesman said the party was “committed to equality”.
The spokesman added: “We feel very clearly that gay voters are among those who have been ignored by Labour.”
The Tory party suffered a setback in its attempts to woo gay voters over the weekend, when shadow home secretary Chris Grayling was secretly recorded saying he agreed that bed and breakfast owners should be allowed to bar gay couples from staying in their homes.
Following anger over the remarks, a PinkNews.co.uk poll found that gay support for the party dropped from 25 to 20 per cent over the past month.