The Conservative Party has released a list of its homosexual candidates standing at the upcoming General Election.
Although the party says it has 20 ‘out’ gay candidates, only eleven of them were happy to be named on the public list.
The register, which has been dubbed a ‘rainbow list’, was released to The Mail on Sunday.
The newspaper had asked for more information from the Tories about a claim made by openly-gay MP Nick Herbert last month.
He had told an American audience that the party had changed its traditional base of MPs and was no longer made up of only “male, white, professional, grey-suited and straight” people.
On the ‘rainbow list’ are five candidates for seats the Tories are likely to win, based on current polling data.
They are Margot James, the only woman included, David Gold, Nick Boles, Iain Stewart and Mark Coote.
There are also three gay candidates running for constituencies where they are unlikely to win: Nick King, Matthew Sephton and Simon Nayyar.
Homosexual Tory MPs Alan Duncan, Nick Herbert and Greg Barker are also included.
A Labour lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group has compiled a list of Labour candidates standing for election who say they are LGBT.
It features 26 candidates, including eight sitting MPs.
The Conservatives’ list follows the party releasing a catalogue of its female and ethnic minority candidates.
In a speech to a US libertarian think-tank last month Nick Herbert said ‘gay rights’ would be entrenched and moved forward if the Tories win the Election.
David Cameron recently told a gay lifestyle magazine that the Church of England should follow the Conservative Party’s example and recognise that “full equality is a bottom-line, full essential”.
The party leader has also made very clear that Tory plans to recognise marriage in the tax system also include civil partnerships.
He said in January: “We will recognise marriage, whether between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man, in the tax system — and yes, that is a commitment”.