Tory Vice Chair Mike Freer: Labour canvassers ‘outing me to religious voters’

Nick Duffy May 5, 2015
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PinkNews Exclusive
Tory Vice Chair Mike Freer has alleged that Labour canvassers have been telling Orthodox Jewish voters that he is gay – in a bid to stop them from voting for him.

Mr Freer, who is married to his partner of 23 years, Angelo Crolla, is running a closely-fought race against Sarah Sackman in Finchley and Golders Green – which has the highest concentration of Jewish voters in the country.

The Conservative politician, who is a strong supporter of equality and gay rights, told PinkNews that he has had a number of strongly religious voters ask him about his sexuality this week, after being canvassed by Labour activists.

He told PinkNews: “What happened is we got a phone call in the office this morning from a lady who said she had been canvassed by the Labour party, she wanted to know if it’s true if I was gay.

“I said ‘Yes, it’s not a secret’.

“Later on, some of my Orthodox Jewish councillors were out knocking on doors – and three residents also mentioned that had had Labour round, and it had been brought up again, and they could no longer support me because I was gay.

“If it’s true, it’s appalling. It’s a sign of desperation.

“I’ve not seen it personally, but I’d have thought better of my Labour opponent – I expect she doesn’t know anything about it.”

Sarah Sackman, Labour candidate for Finchley & Golders Green, told PinkNews: “Homophobia has no place in our society or in an election. I publicly support equal marriage and LGBT rights.

“If Mike Freer has any evidence supporting the statement he made to PinkNews he should refer it to the police. That is the proper way to deal with this.”

Recent polling has shown Mr Freer – who is one of the most senior gays in the Conservative Party – is neck-and-neck with his Labour rival.

Also this week, Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone – the MP responsible for same-sex marriage – threatened to go to the police over “false” Labour leaflets attacking her in nearby Hornsey and Wood Green.

Related topics: Conservative, Gay, Homophobia, LGBT, London, Mike Freer, mp, religious, Rights, Tory, vice chair

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