Tory election candidate suspended for saying gay people should face death penalty

Nick Reilly
Mr Clarke was standing in Stevenage Council’s local elections (Google)

A Conservative Council candidate has been suspended only a week before local elections after the discovery of blog posts that saw him calling for gay people to face the death penalty.

Matthew Clarke made the homophobic comments in a since-deleted 2005 blog about homosexuality.

In the post, written on the same day that same-sex civil partnerships became legal, Clarke claims that death is ‘one penalty in the bible for such deeds’.

The blog, written under the name Matthew Celestine, also sees him describe homosexuals as ‘utterly corrupt morally’.

‘In my experience, most people believe that such behaviour is wrong and disgusting. They would be ashamed for their children to behave in that way, but they would never admit it for fear of being accused of bigotry’, he says.

‘Why should we tolerate such behaviour? If these people think that what they do is decent and good, they are either insane or utterly corrupt morally.’

Clarke, a self-described ‘fundamentalist Christian’, previously attempted to defend the blog in 2016, claiming he did not hold the view any more.


Despite his suspension, Clarke’s name will appear on the ballot for the Lib Dem controlled Manor ward of Stevenage Council, as it is too late to be amended.

‘I would like to express deep regret for the offensive comments I made 13 years ago’, he told the Stevenage Comet.

‘I offer my unreserved apologies for any hurt caused by that blog post and I would like to stress that I have moved on and am no longer the angry and bitter person that I was in 2005.’