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Gay Tory group attacks defector

PinkNews Staff Writer April 9, 2010
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The gay former Conservative activist who announced yesterday she would vote Labour has been attacked by the group she founded.

Anastasia Beaumont-Bott said that she felt guilty for having told people in the past to vote Tory and decided to speak out after shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said he agreed B&B owners should have the right to bar gay couples if they wish.

She also claimed to have experienced homophobia in the party before she left two years ago, although she did not report it.

Today, the current chairman of LGBTory denied the party was homophobic and criticised Ms Beaumont-Bott.

Matthew Sephton said: “Anastasia Beaumont-Bott went as quickly as she appeared both in Conservative politics and LGBT activism. Sadly, she left the Conservative LGBT organisation weaker rather than stronger having done nothing of note to advance the LGBT agenda, either within or outside the Conservative Party.

“I think it’s a great shame that many years after the event she has decided to raise allegations, if only she’d raised them at the time they could have been investigated and action taken. There is no tolerance of homophobia in the modern Conservative Party and great strides forward have been made since her time.”

He added that his group now had “hundreds” of supporters and was working with more than two dozen LGBT prospective Tory MPs.

The Labour Party’s gay organisation said it applauded Ms Beaumont-Bott for speaking out.

LGBT Labour co-chair Simon Wright said: “This is a brave decision by LGBTory’s co-founder to speak out – we applaud her for doing so. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen repeated evidence that the Tories have not changed.

“David Cameron has shown himself unable to understand simple questions about gay rights. They failed to take action after Chris Grayling spoke in favour of discrimination.

“People can see beyond the Tories’ spin and won’t support a party that consistently fails to support them.”

More: General Election 2010, London

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