OutRage! to intervene in Portillo selection

OutRage! is planning to intervene in the selection of the Conservative candidate for Kensington, and in the Kensington by-election, to highlight Michael Portillo’s “hypocrisy, homophobia and failure to tell the full truth about his homosexuality”.

The gay rights group is making elaborate plans to embarrass Michael Portillo and the leadership of the Conservative Party.

According to Peter Tatchell of OutRage!: “As his former lover Nigel Hart has revealed, Portillo’s account of his past gay relationships is not the whole story. He has presented a dishonest version of his homosexual experiences.

“Portillo asserts that his gayness was a passing dalliance, when he was a ‘young person’, during his student days at Cambridge. But according to Nigel Hart, he was having sex with Portillo until Portillo was 27, long after Portillo left university. — Portillo’s public version is evidently false.

“Nigel Hart’s account of his ‘eight-year affair’ with Portillo contradicts Portillo’s claim that he has never had a ‘full relationship’ with a man.

“Michael Portillo’s homosexuality should not be used to bar his selection as a Tory candidate for Kensington. It is his hypocrisy, homophobia and economy with the truth that renders him unfit and unworthy to hold public office. How can the people of Kensington trust a candidate who has given a misleading account of his life?

“The issues OutRage! will be highlighting in the Kensington selection and by-election are homophobia, hypocrisy, trust and integrity. On all four issues, Mr. Portillo is not a fit and proper candidate.

“Michael Portillo is a hypocrite and homophobe. Despite his own gay relationships, he has consistently opposed gay human rights and has never shown any sympathy or support for the gay community.

“Although taking a hard-line stand on law and order, Portillo broke the law by having gay sex with Nigel Hart at the age of 19, at a time when the homosexual age of consent was 21. Michael showed no respect for the law in his youth, but he now supports an age of consent law that criminalises 16 and 17 year old gay men. This is further evidence of his hypocrisy and double-standards.

“Since coming out, he has not recanted his past support for discrimination against homosexuals. This shows that his claimed conversion to sexual tolerance and to the caring, liberal wing of conservatism is a fraud.

“Portillo not only voted for Section 28. He also voted against three amendments to protect and support vulnerable young lesbians and gays, effectively endorsing the isolation and victimisation of homosexual teenagers.

“On 15th December 1987, Portillo voted against amendments that would have allowed local authorities to:

  • discourage anti-gay discrimination and protect the civil rights of homosexuals;
  • provide counselling, advice and support to vulnerable, isolated lesbian and gay pupils;
  • permit schools to teach awareness of different sexual orientations.

“Portillo’s vote against these three amendments shows him to be an unreconstructed hardline homophobe. Since Section 28, he has never expressed an ounce of regret for the way he voted.”