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Lib Dems: ‘Tories must clarify whether they plan to ally with homophobes’

Jessica Geen March 17, 2009

The Liberal Democrats have called for the Conservative Party to clarify whether they intend to form an alliance with the Polish Law and Justice Party in the European Parliament.

The Law and Justice Party has a reputation for anti-gay sentiment, with its chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski, recently telling the Polish publication Ozon: “The affirmation of homosexuality will lead to the downfall of civilisation. We can’t agree to it.”

One of the party’s senior MPs is also reported to have described the election of Barack Obama as marking the “end of white man’s civilisation”.

In a letter to William Hague, Lib Dem spokeswoman for Youth and Equality Lynne Featherstone wrote: “Are these really the sort of people you want to ally yourself with?”

She added: “I would be grateful if you could confirm whether you intend to form a partnership with the Law and Justice party.”

Featherstone commented: “By joining with these people the Tories would be to lending credence to their abhorrent views.

“Homophobia and racism have no place in mainstream politics.

“The Conservatives must make clear whether they intend to join forces with the Law and Justice Party.”

A Conservative spokeswoman said: “It’s not something we have spoken about. We can’t say yet who we will form an alliance with.”

While running for Tory leader, David Cameron promised the party would leave its grouping in the European parliament – the centre-right European People’s Party.

He must now must now form a grouping with at least six other parties to earn EU recognition and funding.

However, the Liberal Democrats and Labour have said the Tories could easily be thrown into the arms of non-mainstream parties, putting them on “the lunatic fringe” of European politics.

More: Europe

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