Britain now has the gayest Parliament in the world after last week’s election. There are 32 openly gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs – just under 5 per cent of the total number in the Commons. This dwarfs the 12 and ten in the parliaments of Sweden and the Netherlands respectively, both countries that pride themselves on their liberal attitude to gay rights. According to analysis by the New Statesman magazine, 13 are Labour MPs, 12 are Conservatives and six represent the SNP.
In the last Parliament there were 26 gay, lesbian and bisexual Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative MPs. This year the Conservatives put up more openly gay candidates than any other party – 39 men and three women. Out of their 13 gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs from the previous Parliament, 12 stood for re-election and only one – Eric Ollerenshaw – was defeated. His loss was made up for by the election of Ben Howlett in Bath. Out of the ten seats Labour took from the Tories, three were won by gay candidates – Wes Streeting, Peter Kyle and Catherine Smith. MORE