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article imageLobby group says UK is ready for an openly gay prime minister

By Andrew John     May 1, 2010 in Politics
Britain is ready for an openly gay or lesbian prime minister, according to a poll carried out by the gay lobby group Stonewall.
The poll had 1,073 responses, says the group; 59 per cent voted “yes, Britain is ready for an openly lesbian, gay or bisexual prime minister” and 41 per cent voted “no.”
Stonewall’s chief executive, Ben Summerskill, said: “Although most people feel Britain is ready for an openly gay prime minister, sadly we’re still no closer to getting one. Parliament still chronically underrepresents lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
“For example, there was just one openly lesbian MP in the last parliament. Stonewall recently worked with the Speaker’s Conference to address this and we’ll continue to work with parties to ensure the House of Commons more accurately reflects the people it serves.”
One prime minister widely thought to have been gay was Tory Edward Heath, who died in 2005. He held office from 1970 to 1974.
Heath remained unmarried throughout his life. Brian Coleman, a gay Conservative London Assembly member, wrote in New Statesman in 2007 (in an article about outing, i.e. exposing, homosexuals): “The late Ted Heath managed to obtain the highest office of state after he was supposedly advised to cease his cottaging [seeking sexual encounters in public toilets] activities in the 1950s when he became a privy councillor . . .”
Coleman told The Times, also in 2007, “I have this on very good authority. There were many stories about Ted Heath. I did not know him well myself, but have been told this by people who did.
“It was certainly not a secret that he was an old queen. I have been told that he was warned about his behaviour and then stopped.”
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