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Margot James becomes the second out lesbian in parliament

PinkNews Staff Writer May 7, 2010
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Margot James has become the Conservative MP for Stourbridge, making her only the second out lesbian in parliament.

Ms James joins Labour MP Angela Eagle, who held onto her Wallasey seat last night with 51.8 per cent of the vote, compared to 31.4 for the Conservative candidate Leah Fraser.

Although there are now plenty of out gay male MPs, Ms Eagle was the only out lesbian politician in the UK for years.

Ms James won her Stourbridge seat with 42.7 per cent of the vote. Her closest rival, Lynda Waltho, was on 31.7 per cent, with a swing of 6.9 to the Conservatives.

Before becoming a Tory candidate, she was the vice-chairman of the Conservative Party.

In 1986, she co-founded her own company, Shire Health, a PR and medical education business. It was voted ‘Consultancy of the Year’ three times and she later sold it.

She is the party’s only prominent lesbian and lives with her partner, BBC TV presenter Jay Hunt.

Ms James is said to be comfortable about her status as the party’s only lesbian figure but has indicated she prefers not to be pigeonholed.

In 2006, she told the Guardian: “I truly don’t see myself as a gay this or lesbian that; I think it’s all very limiting. But that’s not to say that I don’t respect people whose instincts and being and choice are very strictly for one gender or the other.

“I just hate the sort of feeling that if you’re not in the straight, accepted-norm box, then you must be gay. I don’t think that’s true and it leads to a sense of pressure that a lot of people, who other people think are gay, don’t necessarily feel comfortable with.”

Related topics: General Election 2010

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