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Westminster now has 32 openly gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs

  • There are 13 Conservative, 12 Labour and six SNP MPs who are openly gay
  • In the last Parliament there were 26 gay, lesbian and bisexual members 
  • Study also concluded there were 155 election candidates who were gay 

By

James Chapman, Political Editor for the Daily Mail


Published:
17:14 EST, 13 May 2015

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Updated:
17:14 EST, 13 May 2015

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Margot James, the first openly lesbian Conservative MP. Britain now has 32 openly gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs in Parliament

Margot James, the first openly lesbian Conservative MP. Britain now has 32 openly gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs in Parliament

Britain now has the gayest Parliament in the world after last week’s election.

There are 32 openly gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs – just under 5 per cent of the total number in the Commons. 

This dwarfs the 12 and ten in the parliaments of Sweden and the Netherlands respectively, both countries that pride themselves on their liberal attitude to gay rights.

According to analysis by the New Statesman magazine, 13 are Labour MPs, 12 are Conservatives and six represent the SNP.

In the last Parliament there were 26 gay, lesbian and bisexual Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative MPs.

This year the Conservatives put up more openly gay candidates than any other party – 39 men and three women. 

Out of their 13 gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs from the previous Parliament, 12 stood for re-election and only one – Eric Ollerenshaw – was defeated. 

His loss was made up for by the election of Ben Howlett in Bath.

Out of the ten seats Labour took from the Tories, three were won by gay candidates – Wes Streeting, Peter Kyle and Catherine Smith. 

The nine incumbent Labour gay MPs held on comfortably and the SNP returned seven gay and lesbian MPs, including 20-year-old Mhairi Black, the youngest MP to be elected since 1667.

The SNP parliamentary party is now 12.5 per cent gay, lesbian and bisexual – the highest proportion of any party in the world.

The New Statesman calculated that there were 155 out gay candidates in May 2015. 

Their report also concluded that Tory gay, lesbian and bisexual candidates tended to perform considerably better than their straight colleagues. 

Overall, 72 per cent of them had a share of the vote that was greater the national average, and their gains were three times the Tory average. 

MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood Catherine Smith
Ilford North Labour MP Wes Streeting

Both Catherine Smith, left and Wes Streeting, right, who are openly homosexual won seats for Labour previously held by the Conservatives 

However all four gay and bisexual Liberal Democrat MPs were ousted from their seats.

Andrew Reynolds, from the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] Representation and Rights Research Initiative, said: ‘In some places, being out seems to have helped the candidate’s vote. 

‘But the impression I got on the doorsteps was that their sexual orientation was of little consequence.’

 

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