Gay people tend to be right-wing, says Ukip's candidate for Mayor of London

Peter Whittle said lesbians were the exception and tended to be left-wing

Jon Stone
Wednesday 14 October 2015 15:31 BST
Peter Whittle, UKIP Mayor of London candidate for 2016
Peter Whittle, UKIP Mayor of London candidate for 2016 (Getty Images)

Gay people tend to have right-wing political views, Ukip’s candidate for next year’s Mayor of London has said.

Peter Whittle, who is himself gay, told lifestyle magazine Winq that “gay rights” should not actually be associated with the political left wing.

“There are a lot of gay people active in politics, a disproportionate amount. I think that’s for sure, I don’t know why… and they’re more on the centre-right than on the left,” he said.

“Fact of the matter is the left have captured the idea that somehow they are the gay rights part of the political spectrum, but, in fact, there are more gay people on the right.”

The candidate added that he believed lesbians were an exception and tended to be more left-wing than gay men.

“For lesbians, I think it’s slightly different and I think that’s because of the position of women being traditionally treated unequally; that has led to a much more political sense to lesbianism and I can completely understand why that is.”

Mr Whittle said that he was not against gay marriage despite his party campaigning strongly against the practice.

A voting intention poll conducted for the website PinkNews found the Conservatives and Labour neck-and-neck on 29 per cent in March 2015.

Additionally, 20 per cent of people in that poll intended to vote for the Green Party, 19 per cent for the Liberal Democrats, and 2 per cent for Ukip.

The results of that poll appear to contradict Mr Whittle’s perception that gay people are more right-wing – with both the Conservatives and Ukip scoring significantly higher amongst the UK’s general population.

Ukip was the only main political party to oppose the introduction of gay marriage, though it has since indicated that it would not reverse the decision.

The party's LGBT group chair Tom Booker quit the party earlier this year, saying he "couldn't defend the party or convincingly campaign for it anymore".

He said he made had made the decision in party because of "the failure of the leadership to set a gay-friendly tone".

Mr Whittle however said his party was not homophobic and that he would not be in it if it was. He praised the work of its remaining LGBT group, describing it as "small".

"The fact is we have one," he told the magazine.

Ukip gained 2 per cent of the vote in the 2012 London Mayoral election.

Mr Whittle will face Labour’s Sadiq Khan, the Conservatives’ Zac Goldsmith, the Green Party’s Sian Berry, and Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in