Labour’s Chris Bryant wants to go head-to-head with ‘homophobic’ boxing champ Tyson Fury
Labour shadow minister Chris Bryant has challenged world boxing champion to go ‘head-to-head’ with him on homophobia.
Fury, who became the heavyweight champ last month, has attracted attention in recent weeks for his anti-gay views, after claiming homosexuality will bring about the end of times.
The boxer has denied having anti-gay views, but back in 2013 he was fined by £3000 by the British Boxing Board of Control for calling Lennox Lewis “100% homosexual”.
Chris Bryant, the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and one of Labour’s most senior gay MPs, brought up the comments in Parliament today after the boxer was nominated for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award.
Mr Bryant said: “You will have seen that Tyson Fury won the world heavyweight boxing title last weekend and he has now been nominated for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year… I hope he doesn’t win.
“You may also have seen his comments. ‘There are only three things,’ he has said, ‘that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home. One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion, and the other one is paedophilia’.”
My Bryant, a former vicar, said: “Leaving aside the bizarre, rather heterodox theology – this equates homosexuality with paedophilia. As I hope the Leader would agree, that is profoundly offensive and it’s the kind of language that leads to more young people committing suicide.
“Now, I gather Mr Fury has subsequently said that some of his best friends are gay.
“So can I suggest that we invite him to Parliament sometime in the near future because frankly I’m quite happy to go head-to-head with him.”
Chris Grayling, the Leader of the Commons, said that he would be voting for racing champ Lewis Hamilton to win the award.
He added: “Can I just say homophobia is not acceptable in sport. I think it should work hard to actually encourage more people in sport to be very open and accepting of gay people in sport. It is right and proper that that change happens.”
Unfortunately, Mr Bryant might have to put on a few pounds before he can take on Fury – boxers have to weigh over 91kg (14.5 stone) to be classed as ‘heavyweight’.