A recording has emerged of a newly-elected Tory councillor going on a vile homophobic rant at an event in Moscow, and bragging about persuading MPs to vote against same-sex marriage.
Councillor Benjamin Harris-Quinney, who is also the chair of Tory think tank the Bow Group, made the comments at a summit in Moscow which took place in September.
As a result, Conservative Party sources have told PinkNews that Mr Harris-Quinney is not even a member of the party, and have called for him to step down as a councillor.
Mr Harris-Quinney has in the past claimed he was not a party member, and said later that he was. The Conservatives have no record of him as a party member, and are investigating how he stood as a councillor if he does not hold membership.
Since publication, Mr Harris-Quinney has told PinkNews that he is a Conservative Party member.
The speech was made at Church of Christ the Saviour. as part of the ‘Large Family and Future of Humanity Forum’, which is listed as a hate event by the US-based Southern Poverty Law Center.
In the recording, he claims “the LGBT lobby” has created a “climate of fear”, and brags that his think-tank helped lobby Tory MPs to vote against same-sex marriage, he claims that Prime Minister David Cameron was “forced” to “endure the indignity” of relying on Members from other parties to pass the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill which legalised same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
He also claims that the “LGBT lobby” aims to “reduce the age that children receive sexual education to seven”.
Of campaigns to give gay people equal rights in society, he said: “The culmination of their project is same-sex marriage but along the way it’s included the reduction of the homosexual age of consent to 16, and the removal of Section 28, the UK equivalent of the Russian Child Protection Bill.
“Their focus is now on reducing the age that children receive sexual education to seven years old including the promotion of a homosexual lifestyle, and it will inevitably continue in that direction.
“In other words, if it is thought that same-sex marriage is the end of their project, no, there will be much more to follow.”
He continues: “I am pleased to say that from a climate of fear that had been created by the LGBT lobby, as a necessity of support for same-sex marriage, we successfully ensured that a majority of Conservative Members of Parliament did not vote for same-sex marriage, and the Conservative Prime Minister was forced to endure the indignity of passing same-sex marriage only with the support of opposition parties.”
The forum was announced last year in the Russian media and took place in September.
A senior Tory source told PinkNews: “Ben Harris-Quinney is a homophobe and a menace. This sort of vile politics has no place in modern Britain. He is not even a member of the Conservative Party, and he should be sacked as a Conservative Councillor immediately.”
Listen to the rant below
Update 28/05/15 13:18: This article originally stated that Mr Harris-Quinney spoke at the ‘Large Family and Future of Humanity Forum’ at the Kremlin. While part of the forum did take place at the Kremlin, Mr Harris-Quinney actually spoke at the Church of Christ the Saviour.
28/05/15 21:46: This article originally stated that Mr Harris-Quinney referred to ‘gay people’ when discussing the goals of those in favour of gay rights. This was later clarified to read ‘campaigns to give gay people equal rights in society’.