Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski has revealed that, since separating from his wife in 2011, he has been dating a man. The announcement makes him the first Tory MP to openly identify as bisexual.
The MP spoke of his relationship in the context of the ongoing debate on the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill.
He said he had been “overwhelmed” by opposition to same-sex marriage in his constituency of Shrewsbury and Atcham.
However, he decided to vote in favour of the bill, telling activists he was motivated by “convictions as a God-fearing man, and as an individual that believes equality for all”.
Having seen the bill pass through the House of Commons with much support, Mr Kawczynski said he felt able to tell his party that he is in a same-sex relationship.
“I informed my association a few weeks ago that, following my divorce, I now have a new partner, and it is a guy,” he told the Telegraph. “They have been very supportive and kind, which obviously I appreciate greatly.”
The Shrewsbury Conservative Association reportedly gave him a standing ovation after he made the announcement.
“It was a very brave thing for Daniel to do and he did it with great aplomb,” said the Association chairman Robert Osborne.
“He received huge support from members of the association and there was never a shadow of doubt that he would. He made the announcement at the end of the meeting and we moved on straight away.”
He added: “It is very important to show the youngsters that it is perfectly acceptable and normal to be open about your sexual preferences. I have always been with women. Now, I have met a guy.”
Mr Kawczynski and his wife, Kate, divorced in 2011. He described it as the time as a “very amicable” separation.
He is also known for being the tallest MP at a height of 6 foot 8 inches, and has previously campaigned for building regulations to make 7 foot high doors standard to accommodate fellow tall people.