Tory MP Andrew Turner tells school kids being gay is ‘wrong’ and ‘dangerous to society’
Labour’s general election boss has called for Theresa May to investigate a Tory MP who allegedly told school students it is “wrong” to be gay.
Andrew Turner, 63, the Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, is reported to have told A Level students that homosexuality is “dangerous to society”.
The statement was made during a discussion about Isle of Wight Pride, according to local website On the Wight.
A-Level politics student Esther Poucher, 16, wrote on Facebook: “He told us that he’d been invited, but wasn’t intending to go.
“This is because (and this is a direct quote) he thinks that homosexuality is ‘wrong’ and ‘dangerous to society’.
“At this answer, I had to leave,” she wrote.
Labour’s election boss, Andrew Gwynne, has told PinkNews: “These allegations are deeply worrying.
“Theresa May should intervene and investigate immediately, and if true, Andrew Turner needs to be suspended as a Tory candidate.”
“There is no place for bigotry and hatred like this in modern society, and no one holding these views is fit for public office.
“I look forward to Theresa May doing the right thing, and speaking out against these homophobic allegations and show that she is now serious about LGBT equality.”
The student, who says she is a passionate advocate for LGBT rights, said it had “shocked her to the point of outrage”.
PinkNews has also spoken to another student in the class, Toby Sheard, who said he was left scared after the MP’s alleged comments.
According to the student, the visit by the MP was arranged as part of an effort to “get the youth vote”.
The 17-year-old told PinkNews: “Once the meeting was over it hit me what he had said, I was a danger, it was wrong to treat me as normal.
“This form of attitude shouldn’t be allowed in our society, especially in our government.
“Later in the meeting, I tried to push him for why he held this belief, he dodged the question three times until admitting it was for a religious reason.
“The fact that we have MPs with these views in our governing party scares me that we could easily see ourselves going back into the past.”
PinkNews has contacted the school where the incident is said to have happened, the local Conservative association and Conservative Party head office.
Lib Dem candidate for Portsmouth South, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, told PinkNews: “It is totally unacceptable for an MP to make such remarks in this day and age.
“This is the kind of attitude that reinforces Theresa May’s warning that the Conservatives are the nasty party.”
Mr Turner has been the MP for 16 years, voting strongly against LGBT rights during that time.
It comes after The Times reported that his selection as the Conservative party candidate for the constituency has been postponed.
The meeting had been due to be held at 4PM today, but a notice to local Conservative members informs them that this meeting has now been postponed until after local elections on May 4.
He previously faced deselection in 2015 after party members claimed they were embaressed after his wife moved in with one of his advisers.
Organisers of the Isle of Wight Pride event have said they are “deeply shocked and saddened” the comments.
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They have invited the MP to attend the event and learn about LGBT people, telling PinkNews: “We openly welcome Mr Turner to attend Pride, meet some of his own constituents that he is supposed to fully represent and find out for himself that we are not a dangerous group of human beings and that #LoveWins.”
In the original Facebook post, which has been shared more than 100 times, Ms Poucher said: “It’s terrifying that in this age and point in our development as a society, there are still people that can’t care enough about a person’s wellbeing to just accept who they are.”
The 16-year-old continues: “Yes, we all believe different things, and that’s wonderful.
“But when that belief treats a group as sub-human, and attempts to take away their fundamental rights, we can’t respect it.
“I’m done with people not standing up and fucking shouting about what’s right and not campaigning for justice.
“To those over 18 – please do the right thing, and vote in a government that works for a society of diversity and acceptance. Don’t be complacent.”