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Tory politician has suspension lifted after saying homophobic, Islamophobic and antisemitic comments were taken ‘out of context’

Nick Duffy June 8, 2020
Ryan Houghton

Houghton made offensive comments on a martial arts forum when he was 20 (Twitter/@RyanJHoughton)

A Tory councillor who said that homosexuality is not “good for the human race” has had his suspension lifted after insisting that the comments were taken out of context.

Ryan Houghton, a Conservative councillor in Aberdeen, was selected as a parliamentary candidate last year, but was was suspended from the party in November after a series of “unacceptable” antisemitic, racist and homophobic posts emerged online.

In 2013, when Houghton was 20, he wrote on a martial arts forum: “Surely if the majority of the population was to become gay then the species would die out, so it would be harmful? I know I’m kind of going to the extreme here but I don’t see how homosexuality is ‘good’ for the human race?”

He clarified that he had “no problem with anyone’s lifestyle choices” but was just trying “to think of an example when it could be considered bad for the human race”.

Tory councillor Ryan Houghton
Tory councillor Ryan Houghton

Houghton also claimed Muslims were having large families in a bid to create “Eurabia”, and praised the “interesting” research of Holocaust denier David Irving — before questioning whether events could have been “fabricated and exaggerated in some cases”.

At the time his comments came to light, Houghton insisted his comments were taken out of context and that he has never held, antisemitic, racist or homophobic views.”

Conservatives quietly readmit councillor because remarks were made ‘when he was much younger’.

Despite the Conservative Party initially condemning his comments, Houghton has been quietly readmitted after a disciplinary committee found in favour of lifting the suspension.

A Conservative spokesperson told the BBC: “The committee took into account the respondent’s unreserved acceptance that what he had done when much younger was wrong and that he understood the consequence of his actions.

“The committee also noted the letters of support for the respondent from local groups.”

Houghton said: “The comments which led to my suspension were isolated and took place nearly a decade ago.

“They in no way reflect my political or professional record and I find prejudice of any kind abhorrent.”

More: Conservative, Ryan Houghton, Tory

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