Tory candidate Philip Lardner suspended over 'offensive' gay comments
Tuesday 27 April 2010
A would-be Tory MP has been suspended for describing gay people as "not normal", it was disclosed today.
The comments made by Philip Lardner on his website were branded "deeply offensive and unacceptable" by a party spokeswoman.
Under the heading 'What I believe in', the North Ayrshire and Arran candidate had written: "Homosexuality is not 'normal behaviour'."
The seat is a Labour stronghold, where Katy Clark was returned with a majority of more than 11,000 at the last General Election.
The row over Mr Lardner will be embarrassing for David Cameron, who has been at great pains to stress the Conservatives' record on gay rights under his leadership.
Earlier this month the party was forced on to the back foot on the issue after shadow home secretary Chris Grayling suggested people who ran B&Bs should "have the right" to turn away gay couples.
On his website, Mr Lardner spelt out his support for the former Section 28, which was introduced by Margaret Thatcher's government and outlawed the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools.
Last year Mr Cameron apologised for Tory efforts to stop the measure being repealed by Labour.
But Mr Lardner wrote: "With experience as a teacher and a believer in parental rights and responsibilities, as your MP I will support the rights of parents and teachers to refuse to have their children taught that homosexuality is 'normal' behaviour or an equal lifestyle choice to traditional marriage.
"I will always support the rights of homosexuals to be treated within concepts of (common sense) equality and respect, and defend their rights to choose to live the way they want in private, but I will not accept that their behaviour is 'normal' or encourage children to indulge in it.
"The promotion of homosexuality by public bodies... was correctly outlawed by Mrs Thatcher's government. Toleration and understanding is one thing, but the state promotion of homosexuality is quite another."
The remarks have now been removed from Mr Lardner's website, but snapshots of the page have been widely circulated.
In a statement, the chairman of the Conservative Party in Scotland, Andrew Fulton, said: "The views expressed by Philip Lardner, the candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran, are deeply offensive and unacceptable and as a result he has been suspended as a member of the Conservative Party.
"We therefore do not support Mr Lardner's candidacy in the North Ayrshire and Arran constituency. These views have no place in the modern Conservative Party."
Labour's Europe minister Chris Bryant said: "These comments are completely unacceptable and betray the nasty, judgmental truth behind the Tory campaign."
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...