Shadow foreign secretary William Hague defended yet another homophobic Tory candidate today, Philippa Stroud – who founded a church that tried to “cure” homosexuals by driving out their “demons” through prayer. Stroud, the Conservative Party PPC for Sutton and Cheam, is head of the right-wing think tank The Centre for Social Justice, a group David Cameron addressed in a keynote speech on “Broken Britain” last Tuesday.
Hague, speaking on BBC Radio 5 this morning, also defended the Tories’ anti-gay far-Right allies in Europe, and said Stroud’s case was different from that of Philip Lardner, suspended from standing for the Conservatives in North Ayrshire and Arran, who had said homosexuality was “not normal”. To describe Stroud as homophobic, insisted Hague, would be “false” and “misleading”.
Listen to his interview:
“It would be highly regrettable if someone who continued to hold these views held any significant office in government.”
This is just the latest in a series of anti-gay stories about Tory MPs, candidates and allies in recent months; these include the homophobic remarks of Chris Grayling and Julian Lewis. Both men remain members of David Cameron’s front bench team.