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Gay former Tory candidate suggests there are ‘almost’ too many queer people in parliament

Patrick Kelleher January 10, 2020
Iain Dale

Iain Dale, LBC presentor (Vickie Flores/In Pictures via Getty)

Gay former Tory candidate and journalist Iain Dale has said that gay people are almost “over-represented in parliament”.

Dale – who is a presenter on LBC Radio and a former Tory candidate – made the comments in a YouTube interview with David Atkins.

In the interview, Dale spoke about the number of openly gay MPs in parliament, and said: “We apparently have the gayest parliament in the world.”

He continued: “I think you could say that in terms of numbers, gay people almost have got to the stage where we’re over-represented in parliament.”

Dale also reflected on his own election campaign as a Conservative candidate in 2005, noting that gay people were “a bit of an oddity” in politics at that time.

“I think it is actually really encouraging now that… it’s just not an issue anymore,” he said.

Iain Dale has a long history of verbally attacking homophobes on his radio show.

Elsewhere in the wide-ranging interview, Dale opened up about some of the abuse he received as an openly gay Tory candidate in 2005. He revealed that he once received a homophobic letter which called him “disgusting”. The same man later approached him at a fundraising event and apologised.

He believes that things have changed significantly for gay election candidates and MPs since he ran for the Conservative Party, claiming that “times have moved on.” He cited the recent election of Tory MP Elliot Colburn – and his subsequent public kiss with his boyfriend – as an example of the changing landscape.

Iain Dale, who has been public about his sexuality since he was selected as a Tory candidate in 2003, has a long history of taking down homophobes live on air on his LBC Radio show.

In 2016, a religious caller named Theresa said homosexuality was an unnatural vice, adding: “Even animals don’t do that.”

Dale told her: “I don’t repent what I am because I was born how I am.”

That same year, he confronted Christian campaigner Stephen Green live on air, who said that Tom Daley lost out on an Olympic medal because he “turned gay”.

I think you could say that in terms of numbers, gay people almost have got to the stage where we’re over-represented in parliament.

Green told the host: “He’s held up as such a gay icon, the gays really feel I’ve attacked one of their own. By walking away from the gay network, by renewing his mind, Tom Daley would do better. That’s just my belief.”

“I really wish Daley would shut up about starting a family with his fiance. Two men can’t have a baby. Someone should tell him quietly that a woman has to get involved.”

But Dale fired back: “Who are you to judge? What’s it got to do with you?

“You call yourselves Christian Voice, but you haven’t sounded very Christian in this conversation.”

There are currently 46 openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and pansexual MPs in parliament.

However, the following year, Dale attracted some criticism when he announced that his company was set to publish a book by Katie Hopkins.

There are currently 46 openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or pansexual sitting MPs since the 2019 general election. There is not a single trans or non-binary elected representative in the UK.

The Conservative Party has 20 LGBT+ MPs, closely followed by 15 Labour and 10 SNP MPs. Earlier this month, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran came out as pansexual and announced that she was in a relationship with a woman.

The MP revealed that she decided to come out publicly as she had been hounded by journalists who had threatened to expose her sexuality.

More: Conservative Party, Iain Dale, LBC radio

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