Matthew Parris says that he regrets not coming out as gay while he was an MP – the first openly gay MP was Labour’s Chris Smith, subsequently a minister. Given the past record of Conservative party on gay rights, it is a genuine delight to see Alan Duncan, someone who I actually hold in reasonable regard, announce that he is to take a civil partnership. Alan was the first serving Tory MP to come out and that took until 2002 after ten years as an MP. He recognised this government’s role in changing the culture
You have to give some credit to Tony Blair and the Labour Party for that. They championed an agenda that has made life for a lot of people lots better. They have done a good thing.
So, raise a glass to Alan, who has the good fortune to represent a small slice of English perfection in Rutland and Melton, but has the embarrassment of being the Tory shadow minister for Tyneside. Now there’s a love which dare not speak its name.