The Brexit Party’s only Scottish MEP just quit over party’s selection of candidate who ‘declared war’ on LGBT community
The Brexit Party delegation to the European Parliament is “chaotically falling apart” after the party’s only Scottish MEP resigned today alleging homophobia in its ranks.
Louis Stedman-Bryce stepped down after the party allowed an openly homophobic candidate, Victor Farrell, to be selected for the general election.
Yesterday Farrell was revealed to have previously declared “war” on LGBT+ people in a series of bizarre online rants about “perverts pushing sodomite rights”.
The party immediately distanced itself from Farrell, but for Stedman-Bryce, an out gay man, it was too little too late.
“The Brexit Party’s recent decision to select a Scottish candidate who has openly posted homophobic views across social media is not only a betrayal of the LGBT community, but also a betrayal of everyone who believes such divisive and hateful views have no place in our society,” he said.
“While the Brexit Party’s position on Brexit may have changed, mine has not, and I remain committed to Brexit and to the people of Scotland who voted for me, and I will fight on unhindered as an Independent MEP to ensure our voice is heard.”
He said that the Brexit Party’s initial endorsement of Farrell indicated that his personal values are “in direct conflict with those of the party”, adding that this is an area “where I cannot and will not compromise”.
It saddens me to leave the @brexitparty_uk today.
I WILL NOT AND CANNOT compromise on my personal values, but I will continue to represent Scotland in the European Parliament. pic.twitter.com/hI2sFrLC0s
— Louis Stedman-Bryce (@Lstedmanbryce) November 19, 2019
Stedman-Bryce was elected as the Brexit Party’s Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Scotland in July.
“The perception out there is that we’re white, we’re homophobic, we’re definitely racist and we didn’t know what we voted for,” he said after becoming a candidate in April.
“I stand before you as a gay black man and I can definitely tell you I know what I was voting for when I voted for Brexit.”
Unfortunately he’s now having to eat his words, as Farrell is only the latest in a series of Brexit Party members who have fallen afoul of the LGBT+ community in the build-up to the general election.
South Thanet candidate Timothy Vince showed his true colours in an appalling BBC interview where he failed to explain or apologise for previously referring to gay sex as a “shameful deed done in secret”.
Stedman-Bryce’s resignation will come as a particularly heavy blow as it means Scotland now has no elected MEP representatives from either Brexit or UKIP.
“The Brexit Party delegation of MEPs to the European Parliament is chaotically falling apart, as their predecessors in UKIP always did,” said Caroline Voaden, leader of the Liberal Democrat MEPs.
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“Far from changing politics for good, the Brexit Party are proving the people of Britain deserve a more progressive politics.
“The reported attacks on Britain’s LGBTI community by a Brexit Party candidate highlights just how disturbing their alliance with the Conservative Party is in this election.”
A spokesperson for the Brexit Party told PinkNews: “The Brexit Party cut ties with Victor Farrell almost as soon as his comments came to light.
“We are sad to see Louis Stedman-Bryce go and we will always oppose bigotry and fight for a proper Brexit.”