Current Affairs

Simon Hughes apologises for homophobic smears in 1983

Benjamin Cohen January 24, 2006
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Due to breaking news regarding Simon Hughes, you may wish to view the following story:-

Simon Hughes: “I’m bisexual”

Liberal Democrat leadership contender, Simon Hughes has belatedly apologised for homophobic campaigning that led to his election as an MP in 1983.

Mr Hughes won the Bermondsey by-election in 1983 against the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, then representing the Labour party in what should have been a safe seat.

During the by-election, won by Mr Hughes with one of the biggest recorded swings against Labour, the then Liberal party presented him as “the straight choice” while Mr Tatchell was smeared by political rivals.

Mr Hughes told the BBC’s Newsnight programme: “I hope that there will never be that sort of campaign again. I have never been comfortable about the whole of that campaign, as Peter knows, and I said that to him in the past . . . Where there were things that were inappropriate or wrong, I apologise for that.”

“The Liberals fought a very dirty campaign during the Bermondsey by-election,” Peter Tatchell told “Some of their male canvassers went around the constituency wearing lapel stickers emblazoned with the words ‘I’ve been kissed by Peter Tatchell’, in a blatant bid to win the homophobic vote.”

But Mr Tatchell, now a Green Party member, revealed that it’s time to “forgive and forget,” he said: “Simon Hughes is the best of the Lib Dem leadership candidates. If I was a party member, he’d get my vote.”

Mr Hughes who is single insists he isn’t gay and told the Independent that he would like to get married but every woman rejects him.

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