News reaches us from Wakefield that a Nathan Garbutt, a 21 year old Tory candidate in the recent local elections, has quit the Tory Party in a row over allegations of homophobia.
Garbutt, who said, “the local Conservatives have always tried to keep my sexuality quiet”, finally left when local members were “outraged” that he planned to appear in gay magazine Attitude.
He said: “Most Conservatives in Wakefield are grey-haired, grey suit-wearing, straight men. I was surprised by their reaction because I thought it was a brilliant opportunity to show we were more diverse than people think.
“I think they are worried that Wakefield people are strait-laced and it might reflect badly on them.”
During a recent visit from Ann Widdecombe, he was told not to mention his sexuality.
However, Garbutt, a founder member of the local youth group Conservative Future, warned that other young people in the local party would be discouraged: “There are quite a few gay people in Conservative Future, but a lot of them are now reconsidering their positions.”
But Cllr Philip Booth, deputy leader of the Conservative Group, retorted that, “It has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality. If he had raised it with us he would have been told it wasn’t an issue”