Current Affairs

Gay Tory who defected to UKIP selected as parliamentary candidate

September 18, 2014
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Controversial gay author and journalist Peter Whittle has been selected as UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for the south-east London seat of Eltham.

Mr Whittle joined UKIP in 2013 and is currently the party’s culture spokesman as well as the founder and director of the New Culture Forum, a high profile think tank based in Westminster.

The author and journalist has previously attacked multiculturalism.

He claimed in a 2009 article for The Telegraph that gay members of the political mainstream establishment have been reluctant to confront homophobia in the Muslim community.

The article was titled: ‘Liberal gays are scared to tell the truth about Muslim homophobia.’

It was based on Mr Whittle’s participation in a political debate organised by the gay networking group Jake at the National Portrait Gallery.

He wrote: “I made the point to the panel that a recent survey by Policy Exchange had showed that 72% of young Muslim men thought that homosexuality should be recriminalised.

“As the Channel 4 Dispatches programme on Mosques showed last year, there are some pretty disturbing things being said by some Imans about what is best for gays, ie death.

“Given the rapidly increasing proportion of the population which is Muslim, did they not think that there might be some possible problem in the future?”

The author continued: “Needless to say this was neatly side-stepped. Or should I say, not really answered at all. (Tory MP) Nick Herbert made the point that we should be careful not to generalise about the whole Muslim population (72% seems pretty general to me).

“Immediately the issue was turned into something else, in a way we’re all too familiar with, which is how important it is not to demonise Islam.”

News Shopper reports Mr Whittle stood in the recent council elections in the Coldharbour and New Eltham ward but was unsuccessful.

Chairman of UKIP’s Lewisham and Greenwich branch Paul Oakley said: “Peter is a great candidate and I am delighted. He knows Eltham extremely well having grown up and lived here.”

Mr Whittle said: “I am thrilled to be selected. Having come from the area, it’s a particularly personal honour for me. The political climate is changing by the day, and I firmly believe UKIP can achieve something remarkable here in Eltham.” reports Eltham is not thought to be a winnable or target seat for UKIP. In fact the party’s vote share decreased at the 2010 General Election. Instead, it is regarded as a two-way marginal between Labour and the Conservatives.

The incumbent MP is Clive Efford for Labour.

UKIP’s highest-profile gay politician is Scottish MEP David Coburn.

Earlier this month, Mr Coburn claimed that the Scottish National Party’s electoral tactics are “fascist”, and compared Alex Salmond to Robert Mugabe.

A staunch defender of UKIP’s opposition to same-sex marriage, he has said the measure “breeds” homophobia.

Related topics: England, gay journalist, Islam, London, London, South-east London, the telegraph, UKIP, UKIP candidate

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