Friday, 27 September 2013

Crispin Blunt: Some History

Crispin Blunt, the Conservative MP for Reigate, has been told to reapply for his parliamentary seat amid claims that local Tories want to oust him because he came out as a homosexual after the last election.

The former prisons minister has said he will “fight on” after the executive of his local Tory association told him that he would not be automatically selected as the Surrey constituency’s candidate for the 2015 election. He has held the safe Conservative seat since 1997.

Mr Blunt made headlines just months after the 2010 election when he announced that he had separated from his wife so that he could “come to terms with his homosexuality”.

Conservative sources on Thursday night said that his relationships with some local Tories were left “beyond repair” following the disclosures about his sexuality.

“Some people became reconciled to it and were understanding,” a source said. “But some people were not and were unhappy.”

Dr Ben Mearns, a former Tory councillor in Reigate, said: “The reason I believe the association would not reselect him was based on his sexuality.

“That is my clear view. Some members of the association have overtly made comments and some implied that they did not want a gay MP.” Dr Mearns said that making the decision on the basis of sexuality was “unacceptable”...

Daily Telegraph - who probably approve.

Oh dear, this doesn't sound like David Cameron's thoroughly modern gaymarrying Conservative Party, does it?
Though it could also be because some local activists just think Blunt's a lousy constituency MP.
This all has some history.
The Telegraph reported in August 2010; Senior Conservatives in Crispin Blunt's constituency turned on the Tory prisons minister yesterday after he left his wife and declared he was homosexual.

"Tony Collinson, the former association chairman, who was on the selection panel when Mr Blunt was first chosen for the seat in 1997, said he would never have been picked if the truth had been known at the time.
"One of the reasons [he was selected] was because he had a nice, compact, family unit. He made quite a bit of it," said Mr Collinson, who gave up the chairmanship six years ago.
"I'm a little disappointed with the news because I don't think he would necessarily have been chosen had he come out then."
Brian Cowle, a Conservative councillor in Reigate and Banstead borough, added: "It is one of those things which we would have liked to be known before the general election, that it's been a problem for all this time. 

"We all have problems and nuances in our lives; we don't go splashing it over the papers. It could add to a slight discomfort about things."

Though this time the problem may lie higher up.
Only yesterday the Telegraph reported on rumours Blunt was being removed so his safe Tory seat could be given to Boris Johnson.

And lest we forget...

Anthony Blunt - no relation - largin' it at the Hacienda
"I believe it right that our law should discriminate in that limited way between homosexual and heterosexual practice. While I accept that, in law, we should tolerate people's choices to follow a homosexual life style and practice, I maintain that those are not equivalent to heterosexuality - nor should we pretend that they are. It is also clear that there a much greater strand of homosexuality than of heterosexuality which depends for its gratification on the exploitation of youth.
"I am sorry if Labour members do not like the truth, but I do not intend to run away from difficult issues."

Crispin Blunt MP speaking in parliament as a presumed heterosexual in 1998.
Perhaps then, Mr Blunt would have backed deselecting an MP who'd come out?
Gay Tories, dontcha just love 'em?

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