Tory minister opens up about coming out to PM David Cameron
Tory minister David Mundell has spoken about coming out to the Prime Minister.
Mr Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland, came out as gay in January in a blog post he quietly posted online.
The MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale – who has served as David Cameron’s Scottish Secretary since May last year – spoke this week about coming out to Mr Cameron a day before his announcement.
Speaking to ITV’s Around the House, he said he had approached Mr Cameron after a cabinet meeting, pulling him aside and telling him he had something personal to discuss.
Mr Mundell says he told the Prime Minister about his sexuality, and made Mr Cameron aware that he planned to come out publicly.
The MP explained of the PM’s reaction: “He stopped eating his apple, so I don’t know what he thought I was going to say to him!
“I asked to meet him after Cabinet and said I had something personal to discuss with him, but he was very very supportive.
“He said ‘well done’ and ‘good on you’ and ‘we’ll support and help you whatever’. Everybody, cabinet colleagues, were very supportive.
“In terms of my day-to-day relationship with them, nothing has changed.
“That’s the other really good thing… we want to make sure people from the LGBT community are able to be in the mainstream.”
The news adds to Mr Cameron’s reputation as the most pro-LGBT leader of the Conservative Party to date.
The PM has long publicly affirmed the view, once unheard of from a Tory leader, that LGBT people are to be accepted.
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Mr Cameron told Evan Davis in 2014: “I believe in traditional and modern values, I believe in the family, I believe in marriage. I think it’s such a great institution, I think men should be able to marry each other and women should be able to marry each other.
“If I can kiss my wife in public, I don’t see why you can’t kiss your husband in public.”
Mr Mundell is the first out member of the cabinet since the Lib Dem minister David Laws – who came out in 2010 amid an expenses scandal surrounding his undeclared same-sex partner. Mr Laws resigned over the scandal just days later.
The Scottish Secretary explained of his decision: “I wanted to make the announcement in the New Year – I thought the best way to do that was to put it on my website.
“There was a huge response on Twitter – I trended! It was the first time I’m aware I trended.
“It got a huge response, a lot of political colleagues and opponents – I was particularly touched that Nicola Sturgeon tweeted, lots of Labour MPs and SNP MPs as well as colleagues.
“I thought it would be more difficult than standing up at the Despatch Box in the House of Commons against my 56 SNP colleagues.
“In fact, it wasn’t… although I did find it very emotionally draining. I felt, the day after, that I’d gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson!”