The Conservative Party’s first official ‘gay pride’ party included “posters of semi-naked men and buckets of condoms on the tables” according to a Times journalist.
The party was hosted inside Spirit bar in Manchester’s gay village and attracted hundreds of revellers including top Tory members.
Party chairman Eric Pickles was at the event as well as Theresa May and Nick Herbert, who lives with his gay partner in Arundel, West Sussex.
The event was introduced by gay Conservative blogger Iain Dale and lesbian parliamentary candidate Margot Jones.
When the event was announced in June the description read: “This high profile event is expected to draw over 700 guests who’ll party the night away with surprise special guests and a senior Shadow Cabinet member speaking at the event.”
Earlier this year it was reported that reaching out to homosexual groups was to become one of David Cameron’s top five priorities as part of a drive “to show that ‘new Toryism’ is still alive and kicking”.
In July David Cameron said his party was wrong to support Section 28 – a law banning local authorities from promoting homosexuality in schools.
Speaking at a Conservative fundraiser to mark a gay pride event at the time, Mr Cameron told guests that his party’s attitudes towards ‘gay rights’ had changed.
He said: “Yes, we may have sometimes been slow and yes, we may have made mistakes, including Section 28, but the change has happened.”
In February David Cameron spoke about his belief that same-sex partnerships are no different from marriage.
Mr Cameron was recalling his first Conservative conference as leader of the party in an interview with Total Politics magazine.
He said: “I stood up… and said that marriage was important, and as far as I was concerned it didn’t matter whether it was between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman”.
Although the present Government introduced same-sex civil partnerships some years ago, it has stopped short of calling these ‘marriages’.
Last year Mr Cameron said that any tax break for married couples introduced by the Conservative Party would also apply to same-sex couples in civil partnerships.