Election in brief: Tory has sympathy for anti-gay views

A Tory candidate in a winnable seat said yesterday he had "sympathy" with bed and breakfast owners who wish to turn away gay couples.

Andrew Bridgen, who is standing in North West Leicestershire, made the comments after a visit to Ibstock by the shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling. Mr Bridgen said: "Our policy is that we voted for the Equality Bill and people who run a business have to offer the same services to everyone. But I do have sympathy with someone who is opening up their own home to a guest. It's a grey area, but perhaps the size of the establishment could [mark] the difference between opening your home to paying guests and a business."

Labour MP leaves party

A veteran Labour MP who was deselected by his party will stand as an independent at the general election. Frank Cook, MP for Stockton North, said Labour was no longer the party he joined nearly 60 years ago. "I have suspended my membership. I haven't sent in a letter but I've stopped by paying my subs," he said.

PM a miss with women under 30

Gordon Brown is the leader whom women in the group dubbed the "Lambrini Ladies" least want to snog, a survey has found. Just 3 per cent of 20 to 30-year-old women in low-paid jobs wanted to kiss him, compared with 16.9 per cent for Nick Clegg, who came top.

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