Gay Tories rally round Business Minister over Labour ‘full of queers’ accident
Senior Tories have criticised Labour MP Chris Bryant for suggesting Business Minister Matthew Hancock should be sacked for accidentally tweeting that Labour was a party “full of queers”.
Mr Hancock, the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, retweeted the jibe, along with several other critical poems about Labour and its leader Ed Miliband, as part of National Poetry Day, earlier on Thursday.
Although he removed the tweet, Politwoops, which tracks deleted tweets by politicians, captured the poem in full. It read:-
The party run by young Ed. Is quietly going quite dead Bereft of ideas Quite full of queers No wonder the faithful have fled.
Mr Hancock subsequently apolgised, saying his retweet had been a “total accident” and that he “wholeheartedly” disagreed with its “offensive nature”.
Gay Labour shadow frontbencher Chris Bryant was quick to call for the Tory MP’s resignation.
— Chris Bryant (@ChrisBryantMP) October 2, 2014
However, a succession of senior gay Tories have rallied round Mr Hancock, claiming the minister “doesn’t have a homophobic bone in his body”.
Conservative Party Vice-Chair Mike Freer reminded PinkNews that Mr Bryant had failed to call for the resignation of Ken Livingstone when he had suggested the Conservative Party had been “riddled” with gays.
Labour’s 2012 London mayoral candidate made the remarks to the New Statesman, in a bid to show how politics had become more gay-friendly. Mr Bryant called the comments “pretty daft”.
Mr Freer also highlighted the minister’s good record on LGBT rights, including supporting same-sex marriage.
Conor Burns, the Conservative MP for Bournemouth tweeted that Labour’s responce to Mr Hancock’s tweet amounted to “fake outrage”.
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Education Minister Nick Boles was keen to make light of the situation.
As a friend of @matthancockmp and a bit of a queer myself, can I just say: give the man a break. He goofed, said sorry, no harm done.
— Nick Boles (@NickBolesMP) October 2, 2014