Cameron let me down, says founder of Tory gay rights group

Two former Conservative party members have defected to Labour over the Tory party's approach to gay rights. Both criticised David Cameron by name.

David Cameron has come under an excoriating attack from two former Conservative party members over the party’s stance on gay rights. Anastasia Beaumont-Bott and David Heathcote, who had both held party positions, said that the tipping point to their decision to defect to Labour was Chris Grayling’s remarks on B&Bs and David Cameron’s slow response in calling for an apology.

Anastasia Beaumont-Bott had founded and headed up LGBTory, a gay rights pressure group inside the Conservative party. But she announced last week that she would be voting Labour after unsuccessfully calling for David Cameron to sack Chris Grayling. Just two months ago she wrote proudly on Conservative Home about why she was a candidate for the National Management Executive on Conservative Future.

Speaking this afternoon at the Labour party’s HQ, she said:

“A leopard does not change its spots, and neither has the Conservative Party. Once upon a time, I made the massive mistake of believing that they had. And I‘m here to tell you how wrong I got them.

“Mr Cameron, I believed in you and your party, and you let me down. I thought your party was progressive and would stand up for the “great ignored.”, but your party ignored my complaints about discrimination and smears…

“Mr Cameron, you have not only lost my vote. You have lost my respect. “

David Heathcote had been working as the ‘Get out the vote’ Director in the marginal seat of Colne Valley and was on the party’s approved list of candidates. He had aspirations to become a Member of Parliament but quit after the Chris Grayling affair. He said:

“Under David Cameron’s leadership I had felt able to persuade gay people and others who had no trust in the Conservatives that the party had changed and was ready to represent them. How wrong I was. Whilst Mr Cameron may have this vision, his party seems unwilling to move with him from their old values to those of a party to represent a modern, fair and equal Britain.”

Speaking to Left Foot Forward after the event Mr Heathcote outlined that his concerns with David Cameron’s leadership ran wider than issues of gay rights:

“I didn’t think now was the time for massive cuts. The OECD’s release last week projecting growth will rise to 3.1 per cent in the second quarter clarified that the Government has managed the economy extremely well.”

The defection of these two activists, comes as Left Foot Forward launches its election video on equality, which details the Tories’ true record on gay rights.

Watch it:

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