English Democrats back 'too many gay MPs' comments candidate

By Ross Hawkins
Political correspondent, BBC News

Houses of ParliamentImage source, PA

A candidate for the European elections has said there are "far too many" gay people in Parliament.

Julia Gasper, of the English Democrats, said there seemed to be "hundreds of them, all in important positions and giving each other favours".

The candidate, from Oxfordshire, and is standing in South East England, called this a "violation of democracy".

The party backed Dr Gasper, saying she was expressing a personal opinion but was "factually correct".

English Democrats spokesman and fellow European election candidate Steve Uncles said she held a traditional and Christian view.


He said: "I don't think people should be persecuted for their sexuality in any way but I think what we want is a certain amount of subtleness about things and a certain amount of discreteness."

Media caption,
English Democrat Steve Uncles says fellow candidate Julia Gasper is expressing a personal opinion but is "factually correct"

Dr Gasper, from Headington, was formerly a parliamentary candidate for the UK Independence Party.

She wrote a paper accusing Gay History Month organisers of exaggerating the level of persecution of gay people in the Holocaust. She said their message was: "Move over, Anne Frank, we are the real victims."

Last month Dr Gasper wrote on her blog: "Thank goodness we still have some newspapers that are prepared to expose the rot inside our Parliament and the extent of the corruption. There are far too many homosexuals in Parliament."

She added: "They are only 1.5% of the population, a proportion that justifies about 10 MPs in total, yet there seem to be hundreds of them, all in important positions and giving each other favours. That is a violation of democracy."

Commenting on the resignation of the chief executive of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, who was criticised for his views on same-sex marriage, she wrote: "Homo fascism is a threat to fundamental human rights."

Mr Uncles told BBC Radio 4's PM: "That is Julia Gasper's personal opinion and actually she's factually correct - as a proportion the amount of people who identify themselves as gay is probably less than 1% of the population."

There was a greater proportion of homosexuals in the House of Commons, he added.

There should be equal rights for all, Mr Uncles argued, not special rights for minorities.

Rifle picture

The English Democrats campaign for EU exit and the establishment of an English parliament.

After intense scrutiny of its candidates, UKIP has highlighted those it says have embarrassed the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats have nominated for election a sitting councillor and magistrate who posted a picture online of himself posing with an AK-47 rifle. Ajit Atwal is under investigation by the Derbyshire Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace.

But the Liberal Democrats said he recognised posting the photo had been naive, he had apologised and the party was content that no further action was necessary.

Labour has suspended one of its council candidates after it emerged he was a convicted fraudster.

Yogalingam Dayanamby, who is standing for the party in Harrow, north-west London, was convicted of falsely claiming council tax benefit, according to a press report from 2007.

He was sentenced to a three-month curfew and required to wear an electronic tag after he failed to declare that he owned a second property, according to the report from the time.

As nominations have closed, his name and affiliation to the Labour Party cannot be removed from the ballot paper.

The Conservatives have confirmed that one of their sitting councillors, Dr Peter Moseley of South Kesteven District Council, was previously a member of the BNP.

A spokesman said he he had been a BNP member for a brief period over a decade ago and regretted joining the party.