Gyimah joins the Lib Dems. Are they now the party of homophobia?

Unpleasant company: The more Tories Jo Swinson welcomes into the Liberal Democrat, the more right-wing her party will become.

What is happening to the Liberal Democrats?

Jo Swinson’s tactic of taking in every waif and stray from the Conservative Party and Change UK may seem to be a sound way to increase her party’s presence in Parliament.

But it is changing the nature of that party at the same time.

When Phillip Lee crossed the floor of the House of Commons, the Liberal Democrat spokeswoman on LGBT+ issues quit, on the grounds that he was a homophobe.

Now Sam Gyimah has – rather dramatically – quit the Conservatives to be revealed as the latest Lib Dem recruit at their party conference. And this makes matters worse.

You see, Mr Gyimah famously filibustered a law to pardon all gay and bisexual men in England and Wales historically convicted of sexual offences that are no longer criminal, in 2016.

He claimed that the bill did not give strong enough protections against men being accidentally pardoned for sex with a minor or non-consensual sex.

But this was nonsense. As SNP MP John Nicolson explained at the time, “If the crime for which you were convicted is still a crime, by definition you are not pardoned.”

So – well, I don’t often agree with Wes Streeting, but he seems to have got it right with this tweet:

And as Owen Jones has now added:

Tom Clark of Another Angry Voice is more blunt:

In a way, it’s a shame. Mr Gyimah’s parting shots at the leader of his former party were strong:

“I listen to ministers undermining the courts,” he said. “Ministers questioning experts because their views are inconvenient for what the government is saying about no deal. You have a government that says law enforcement is the centrepiece of its platform, and yet says in another breath that it will pick and choose what laws it chooses to respect.

“This is in many ways undermining key pillars of our constitution and the functioning of our democracy. The issue for me is not just Brexit. It is beyond Brexit – how you conduct politics and the veering towards populism and English nationalism.”

Not only have the Liberal Democrats tarnished themselves by tacitly condoning homophobia, but it also seems their ‘Party of Remain’ credentials are in tatters too.

Writing in the Observer, party leader Jo Swinson stated: “The Liberal Democrats are the strongest Remain party in the UK, and we continue to grow, adding members, councillors and MPs. When a general election comes, we will be ready for it and ready to take our clear, pro-European message to the country.”

But it seems her plan to cancel Brexit isn’t Liberal – and is especially un-Democrat-ic; given the chance, she would not check that it was what the general public wants but would simply stop the process by which the UK is leaving the European Union.

In its way, that’s just as bad as the Conservatives’ determination to force their version of Brexit on us, whether we want it or not.

It means Labour is now the only major political party – certainly in England – that would give voters a say on Brexit.

Source: Sam Gyimah rejects ‘populist Johnson’ as he joins Lib Dems | Politics | The Guardian

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No Comments

  1. trev September 14, 2019 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    Gyimah has also previously been anti-EU and has voted against Right to remain for EU citizens. The LibDems are becoming a weird bunch of disparate oddballs with an overall strangely confused sense of (mis)direction.

  2. Zippi September 15, 2019 at 12:25 am - Reply

    Just out of curiosity, is it normal, or standard, for people who have committed crimes, that have, subsequently, ceased to be crimes, to be pardoned?
    I think that we have said just about all that there is to be said about the Illiberal Hypocrites. This person (whose name Jo Swinson, allegedly, didn’t even know) was interviewed, today, talking utter nonsense. Note that none of the recent additions, since that woman (I forget her name), has been tested in an election – such democrats are they that they have offered their constituents a by-election… NOT – so, they may well all be gone. They all may be Illib Hyps, now but they were not elected to Parliament as such. I would like to see just how many of those turncoats are returned to Parliament by their constituents.
    Ms. Swinson is filling her party with disaffected, disloyal persons, who have, it seems, one thing in common; that they want to ignore the democratic decision of the people. What happens next, other than civil disobedience and a sharp decrease in the size of the voting electorate? Her Party is so confused, I can’t see its current politicians agreeing policy. Yellow Tories… like we didn’t know. Perhaps David Cameron will come out of retirement and join them, too? Maybe Tony Blair will resurrect himself… I forgot, he already won’t stay dead and his mission is to destroy Jeremy Corbyn.

  3. nickyhamlyn September 15, 2019 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Any port in a storm.

  4. xpressanny September 15, 2019 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    I must be losing my mind because this must be the first time ever I have agreed with Streeting!!! What in the world is happening with LibDems. Anyone will do to bolster their figures and put Ms Swinson – she thinks – into power? Ms Berger joins a party that believes Palestine should have their own State; Ms Berger left Labour because she didn’t approve of such a notion and called all those who agreed as antisemites. Smith was both racist and antisemitic. And now they have a homophobic nutcase from Tories. You couldn’t make this crap up. No one would believe you!!!

    • Zippi September 15, 2019 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      If you submitted this as a screenplay, or premise of a novel, you’d be laughed out of the meeting!

    • David September 15, 2019 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Sam Gyimah was clear from the beginning he supported Turing’s law and eventually got it passed. What he didn’t support was a badly drafted bill with unintended consequences. Any suggestion he isn’t a full supporter of LGBT equality is racist nonsense. Between 2009 and 2012 Corbyn was paid £20,000 for appearances on Press TV, the Iranian Government’s English language propaganda channel. Whilst he broadcast for Press TV the regime executed people for being gay.

      • Mike Sivier September 17, 2019 at 12:16 am - Reply

        Why would it be “racist nonsense”, then? What does race have to do with a Bill about stopping the persecution of people because of their sexuality?

        And why do you bring up Jeremy Corbyn’s appearances on Iranian Press TV that have been fully explained in the past?

        Your email address identifies you as a councillor – for which party?

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