LGBT equality has gone ‘too far’, says new Ukip leader Henry Bolton

Former soldier is party's fourth leader in just over a year

Lydia Smith
Saturday 30 September 2017 13:00
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Newly elected UKIP leader Henry Bolton speaks at the party's conference in Torquay
Newly elected UKIP leader Henry Bolton speaks at the party's conference in Torquay

The new UK Independence Party leader has spoken out against LGBT rights, arguing children are being “encouraged” to question their sexuality.

Former soldier and police officer Henry Bolton was announced as the party’s fourth leader in just over a year at the Ukip annual conference on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference after his election, Mr Bolton, who once stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate for Parliament, said equality had gone “a bit far”.

“Quite honestly, I think it is getting a bit far when we are encouraging children in some cases to question their own sexuality,” he said.

“I think that is certainly going too far.”

When asked about transgender people, Mr Bolton said: “What I have a problem with is that we should all have a choice in that debate.

“If somebody feels it has gone too far they should be free to express that concern.”

He added he was concerned that there is “an effort to silence any dissenting voice” which he said was not in keeping with “the principle of freedom of speech”.

After Mr Bolton’s victory was announced, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage praised him as “a man of real substance”.

The 2015 election saw Ukip fail to include any LGBT rights issues in its manifesto, instead publishing a mini “Christian manifesto” which opposed same-sex marriage legislation – although it did not seek to reverse it.

Former leader Paul Nuttall, who took the party’s reins from from November 2016 until his resignation in June, when he failed to deliver any Ukip MPs, has previously spoken out against LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education in schools.

“Rather than helping tackle problems of domestic violence and rape in future years, as given as another woolly reason for introduction, it is going to confuse and worry these little children,” he said.

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