Ann Widdecombe’s one-woman show pulled by theatre after gay therapy remark, saying it will not ‘provide stage for these vile people’

Brexit Party MEP received widespread condemnation after claiming science may one day ‘produce an answer’ to being gay

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 05 June 2019 17:06
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Nigel Farage responds to Ann Widdecombe's remarks that science may 'provide an answer' to homosexuality

A theatre company has cancelled an Ann Widdecombe show in response to her comments about gay conversion therapy, saying it will not “provide a stage for these vile people”.

The Brexit Party MEP was expected to hold an “evening with” event at the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, Devon, next March.

But Selladoor Worldwide, which runs the venue, has cancelled the booking after the former Tory minister and Celebrity Big Brother star suggested science might one day “produce an answer” to being gay.

Ms Widdecombe made the comment during an interview with Sky News on Sunday after being questioned about an article she wrote on gay conversion therapy in 2012.

She said: “There was a time when we thought it was quite impossible for men to become women and vice versa.

“The fact that we think it is now quite impossible for people to switch sexuality doesn’t mean that science might not be able to produce an answer at some stage.

“You are denying people who are confused about their sexuality, or discontented with it, the chances that you do give to people that want to change gender.”

David Hutchinson, chief executive of Selladoor, said he was “absolutely disgusted” with Ms Widdecombe’s comments.

He tweeted: “Took no time in immediately cancelling her planned ‘evening with’ event at one of our @SelladoorVenues. We will never provide a stage for these vile people.”

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Mr Hutchinson told The Stage that the show had been booked before Ms Widdecombe announced she would stand as an MEP for the Brexit Party.

Speaking to the newspaper, he said Ms Widdecombe’s comments were “divisive, disrespectful and foolishly ignorant”, and that statements like these “promote and fuel discrimination”.

Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party leader, defended Ms Widdecombe, saying her view was a “matter of conscience”.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday: “Science may provide all sorts of answers that you and I don’t know about – Ann Widdecombe is a devout Christian, and there is nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

“She will have views on abortion and on homosexuality that will be very different to the views that will be held by many others,” he added.

“I think these things are a matter of conscience, I don’t think they are matters for party leaders to support or condemn individuals because they have strong views.”

Ms Widdecombe’s next performances of her one-woman show, Strictly Ann: An Evening With Ann Widdecombe, are expected to go ahead as planned in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, next Tuesday and in Altrincham next Wednesday.

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