David Cameron defends his appointment of anti-gay campaigner
Conservative Leader, David Cameron today defended the appointment to his Shadow Cabinet of a Muslim who previous campaigned against gay rights.
As she failed in her attempts to be democratically electesd to the House of Commons, Sayeeda Warsi, will be ennobled as a “working peer” to become David Cameron’s Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion.
On the 6th July, PinkNews.co.uk reported that Mrs Warsi conducted a homophobic campaign in a failed attempt to become elected in the constituency of Dewsbury which has a large Muslim community, where she was defeated by International Development Minister, Shahid Malik.
Speaking to Andrew Marr on the BBC’s Sunday AM, Mr Cameron said: “She is the first Muslim in a Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet.”
When pressed on Mrs Warsi’s views, Mr Cameron said: “She is an extremely talented person: A woman from West Yorkshire.
“She’ll make a fantastic contribution to our politics. She does have very strong personal views as a Muslim but she accepts shadow cabinet collective responsibility on policies of the conservative party that she supoorts.”
It is therefore safe to assume that Ms Warsi will publically support anti-homophobic bullying campaigns in schools, civil patnerships and protection from discrimination in the provision of goods and services for gays and lesbians. All of which are current Conservative policies, measures supported by Mr Cameron personally.
Or else, the appointment may produce a similar row to the one that surrounded the appointment of Opus Dei member Ruth Kelly to a similar position in the Cabinet last year.
Mrs Warsi’s campaign leaflet in 2005 attacked the government’s gay rights agenda.
“Labour has scrapped section 28 which was introduced by the Conservatives to stop schools promoting alternative sexual lifestyles such as homosexuality to children as young as seven years old,” it said.
“Schools are allowed and do promote homosexuality and other alternative sexual lifestyles to your children.
“Labour reduced the age of consent for homosexuality from 18 to 16 allowing school children to be propositioned for homosexual relationships.”
Mrs Warsi pledged to campaign strongly for an end to sex education at seven years and the “promotion” of homosexuality, which she said “undermines family life.”
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Mr Malik went on to win the seat with a majority of 4,615.
Her views run contrary to the image of the Tory party as gay-friendly that David Cameron is keen to promote.
A Conservative party spokesman last week told PinkNews.co.uk:
“The leaflet that you are referring to does not properly represent her views – she has not got a problem with gay adoption, for example.
“Sayeeda does have a problem with sex education, of any orientation, being compulsory in schools.
“She thinks it is up to the parents to decide if and what their children are taught and when.”