Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh – who claimed that gays would “mangle” marriage – has defended bringing a convicted paedophile to Parliament.
The Sunday Mirror reported yesterday that the Tory MP – who has uniformly opposed gay rights legislation – had “wined and dined” consultant Duncan Breeze in Parliament.
Breeze is a registered sex offender, and was jailed in 2007 after thousands of indecent images were found on his computer.
He now consults for a company that provides income protection services – which Sir Edward Leigh is the non-executive chairman of.
The newspaper reports that the pair have met several times in the past year in his constituency and the Commons.
Sir Edward Leigh opposed civil partnership legislation, same-sex marriages, and campaigned against the removal of Section 28, the law which banned schools from teaching students about homosexuality.
However, the Gainsborough MP defended the meetings, saying: “Duncan Breeze told me he had a conviction. As far as I am concerned, it is in the past. He admitted it to me. He was up front. There was no secret about it.
“He denied any guilt. He said he was completely innocent. I don’t remember all the details. It’s none of my business.
“I probably last saw him for lunch at the Commons months ago. Certainly not weeks ago.
“If he has a conviction in a previous life, which is nothing to do with the company, or business, or politics, or anything else, then it’s not for me to second guess somebody’s past.”