David Cameron is coming under increasing pressure after a covert tape-recording in which Chris Grayling said hotel owners should be allowed to ban gay couples.
David Cameron is coming under increasing pressure not just to sack but de-select his shadow home secretary over a covert tape-recording in which he says hotel owners “should have the right” to bar gay couples from their premises. Chris Grayling’s remarks, published in today’s Observer, run contrary to the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 – legislation he voted for.
Grayling was caught saying:
“I personally always took the view that, if you look at the case of should a Christian hotel owner have the right to exclude a gay couple from a hotel … that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn’t come into their own home.”
His comments echo those of Adrian Watson, Tory/UUP candidate for South Antrim who was forcibly de-selected by Cameron after he said he would feel “uncomfortable” having gay couples stay in his bed and breakfast, adding his family “could be upset”.
Grayling’s secret comments, described as “very alarming” by Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, are not just the latest in a series of embarrassments to the Conservative party high command, but the latest in a long line of regressive, anti-gay remarks from Tory candidates and allies in recent weeks.
A fortnight ago, the Tory leader himself, in an interview with the Gay Times, failed to commit to supporting the Alli amendment in the Lords which would allow civil partnership ceremonies to be performed on religious premises. He also backed the Tories’ far-Right, homophobic allies in Europe. Watch it:
On Tuesday, Left Foot Forward reported Tory councillor Denis Knowles’s comments about “an unusual group of young boys leafletting … of the limp wristed variety”; Knowles later wrote “Just joined Chris Grayling MP and Leah Fraser on a visit to the Allandale “Youthworks” in Seacombe…”
And on Thursday, Left Foot Forward revealed further details of the leader of Cameron’s MEPs Michal Kaminski’s past: He was active in a 1500-strong neo Nazi skinhead movement. In 2000, he gave a TV interview in which he refers to homosexuals as “pedaly”, literally pedals which is the near equivalent of “faggots” but also implies paedophilia. When the interviewer said it was an offensive term he repeats it: “What should I say – they are pedaly.”
Cameron has never condemned Kaminski or his remarks, and is yet to censure Grayling.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.