Tory MP stands down after allegedly telling students that homosexuality is 'wrong and dangerous to society'

Steven Swinford
Andrew Turner is standing down as a Conservative MP - Splash News

A Tory MP has stood down after being accused of telling a class of A-level students that "homosexuality is wrong and a danger to society".

Andrew Turner has quit as Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight after making the comments during a visit to Christ the King College in Newport on the Island. A Conservative source said: "There's no place in the party for such views."

Esther Poucher, a student and LGBT rights campaigner, asked him if he was planning on attending the Isle of Wight's first ever pride event.

Andrew Turner MP

She wrote on Facebook: "He told us that he'd been invited, but wasn't intending to go. This is because (and this is a direct quote) he thinks that homosexuality is 'wrong' and 'dangerous to society'.

"At this answer, I had to leave. It's terrifying that in this age and point in our development as a society, there are still people that can't care enough about a person's wellbeing to just accept who they are. And the most terrifying thing is that we as an island consistently vote him in to represent us."

She added: "I'm very angry and it is upsetting. He is someone who is representing the Isle of Wight. I do not want that person representing the Island, because that opinion is not what we think here.

"My message to Mr Turner is that kind of opinion should be kept to himself. We do not want to be labelled homophobic and hateful here, we want to be labelled as accepting."

Mr Turner, who has been the island's MP for 16 years, survived an attempt by his own party to force him to stand down as a general election candidate in 2015.

He faced calls to resign after it emerged that his partner of 17 years had begun living with one of his closest advisers. Mr Turner did not respond to requests to comment.

Mr Turner said in a statement: "It has been my privilege to serve the people of the Isle of Wight as their Member of Parliament.

"I have been incredibly fortunate to represent such a beautiful constituency. After 16 years I have come to the decision that it is time for a new generation to take up the mantle of representing my fantastic constituents.

"I am grateful for the support I have received from islanders and proud of the record that Conservatives have in delivering for the island.

"In the forthcoming election I will be supporting the Conservative candidate to ensure the strong and stable leadership of Theresa May is returned to Downing Street."

 

 

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