Home Business NewsPolitics News Ken sparks row of claim Tories are ‘riddled’ with homosexuals

Ken sparks row of claim Tories are ‘riddled’ with homosexuals

by LLB Editor
9th Feb 12 10:32 am

Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone has faced calls to apologise after claiming the Conservative party was “riddled” with homosexuals.

Livingstone labelled some Tory MPs as hypocrites for denouncing homosexuality while secretly “indulging” in it themselves in a controversial interview in the New Statesman. But he said being gay or lesbian had boosted the careers of some Labour MPs.

He told the magazine’s associate editor Jemima Khan: “(The public) should be allowed to know everything, except the nature of private relationships – unless there is hypocrisy, like some Tory MP denouncing homosexuality while they are indulging in it.”

When asked why he mentioned Tory MPs in particular, Livingstone said: “Well, the Labour ones have all come out. As soon as Blair got in, if you came out as lesbian or gay you immediately got a job. It was wonderful.

“You just knew the Tory party was riddled with it like everywhere else is.”

Angie Bray and Mike Freer, who are Conservative MPs in London, have written to Labour leader Ed Miliband and called on him to make sure Livingstone apologises.

Bray said: “These are the sort of offensive remarks we hear all too often from Labour’s candidate for mayor. Ed Miliband should condemn these outrageous comments and get him to apologise immediately.”

Labour MP Chris Bryant, who is gay, said: “All this faux outrage turns my stomach.

“After all, I don’t recall Tory MPs getting themselves in a lather when (mayor of London) Boris Johnson said that if you allowed men to marry, you might as well allow a man to marry a dog.”

Turning his attention to his rival in May’s mayoral election, Livingstone said Johnson possessed “real ability, real intelligence” but would not achieve his potential because he does not take life seriously.

“It is why I think in the end he won’t be prime minister,” said Livingstone. “I don’t think he has really got a solid ideological brain, like (chancellor George) Osborne or (foreign secretary William) Hague.

“It is very hard to find anything in Boris’s career that he’s serious about. He just loves life too much to really succeed as a politician.”

Johnson also gave an interview to the New Statesman, although it was not as colourful as Livingstone’s.

Discussing high pay in the City, the mayor of London said: “We are endlessly focused on the very narrow, newspaper-driven agenda of rage against anybody who creates wealth.

“That sort of hatred of bankers and bonuses – which I perfectly understand emotionally – is just the wrong target. What you need to do is focus on what these people could be doing to help those at the bottom.”

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