Out Labour MP Chris Bryant promoted to shadow cabinet
Labour MP Chris Bryant has been promoted to Shadow Culture Secretary.
Mr Bryant, who is MP for the Rhondda and one of the Labour party’s most senior LGB MPs, was today promoted from an Arts minister to Shadow Secretary for Culture Media & Sport.
It puts him directly opposite new Conservative minister John Whittingdale, who was today appointed to the opposing brief of Culture Secretary by David Cameron.
The two held opposing views on same-sex marriage, with Mr Bryant strongly in favour and Mr Whittingdale voting against – and claiming that it would “cause distress to many”.
On the subject of briefs, the shadow minister joked previously that tabloids publishing photographs of him in his underwear, taken from a gay dating profile, actually increased his majority.
He had a notorious row last year with singer James Blunt – who branded him a ‘classist gimp’.
Mr Bryant was recently named among a number of MPs who claimed expenses to stay in London, while owning a property in the capital.
The MP was named by a Channel 4 investigation that found he claimed £35,350 from 2012-2014 to rent a flat in London – despite already owning a penthouse in the city.
Mr Bryant previously bought a two-bedroom apartment in 2005, and initially claimed expenses for the mortgage – but that property is now being rented out, after expenses for second home mortgages were banned.
When named during a separate expenses scandal about his constituency home in 2009, Mr Bryant said the reason he ‘flipped’ his house was to escape homophobic thugs who daubed lewd messages on his property.