Dumped by Cameron, now Tory hopeful’s job in peril
Thu, 29 Apr 2010
A former Tory candidate who was dropped by David Cameron because of his beliefs on same-sex conduct has been suspended from his job as a primary school teacher, according to reports.
Philip Lardner’s suspension from work, as reported by Scottish Television (STV), follows a media storm earlier this week after his views on homosexual conduct were attacked by a homosexual news website.
Mr Lardner said that same-sex conduct is not “normal”, and that he wouldn’t encourage children to indulge in it.
But now Mr Lardner has launched a robust defence of his comments, and warned voters that Christian views are no longer welcome in the Conservative Party.
Speaking to STV, he said: “I believe ordinary people are sick and tired of political correctness.
“This is still a broadly Christian country, and I believe parents should have the right to oppose the promotion of homosexuality in schools.
“By suspending me as a Tory, David Cameron appears to be saying there is no place in the Party for anyone with Christian beliefs.”
Mr Lardner was ostracised by the party after a homosexual news website attacked his views on same-sex conduct, as he had expressed them on his campaign website.
The Conservatives were quick to distance themselves from Mr Lardner’s stance.
Party leader Mr Cameron said he took the decision to deselect Mr Lardner “within minutes” of finding out about his views.
And a Tory spokesman branded Mr Lardner’s Christian views as “deeply offensive and unacceptable”.
However, despite his deselection Mr Lardner will still be included on his constituency’s ballot papers, and has called for voters to back him.
He said: “I’m still a candidate on ballot papers in North Ayrshire and Arran and if voters back my stand for free speech, I will become their independent Member of Parliament.”
In 2008 Mr Lardner controversially praised former Rhodesia leader Ian Smith, although he later issued a statement regretting his remarks.
Earlier this month senior Tory Chris Grayling was slammed by Labour and the Lib Dems for suggesting that Christians who run a B&B from their own home should be allowed to exercise their conscience over who is allowed a double bed.
Labour’s Ben Bradshaw, who is openly homosexual, said Mr Grayling showed “that the Conservatives have not really changed on this and many other issues”.
Alan Johnson, Labour’s Home Secretary, said the Tory leader David Cameron should either “back him or sack him”.
Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “Chris Grayling’s plan would allow discrimination to thrive”.
But Mr Grayling said that “we must be sensitive to the genuinely held principles of faith groups in this country.”