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"Simon Hughes has vowed to stay in the LibDem leadership race despite having been "outed" as gay."

Bisexual surely?

He did not come out until he was found out. Still it will be good for us if SH wins the leadership race as he will take the Limp - Dems left wards.

At the start of the contest, Ming the Merciless was the Kennedy backstabber in many Lib Dems bad-books. However, compared to the other candidates and their recent revelations, Ming is now looking positively saintly.

Oaten and Hughes. What a pair. It's not so much the homosexuality (though I should imagine that is a factor for some,) but the lying and deceit. Oaten should stand down as an MP and call a by-election. Hughes should end his leadership bid.

I am surprised nobody hs made much of the fact that he lied about it. If he believes the country is so tolerant then why did he initially deny it?

Huhne must be licking his chops.

Out of curiosity, who is Hughes hurting here over his homosexuality? Hes never been married. Homosexuality in public figures is a hard thing to admit to because of the fear of how people will react. Homosexuality is a semi taboo subject in this country.

Hughes has does nothing wrong in having gay relationships. That is HIS business only.

He has been deceitful, untrustworthy and totally hypocritical in (a) denying it, (b) using his Labour opponents' sexuality to win his seat (pardon the pun),and (c) 'coming clean' only when he was 'outed'. He has lost all public support. I have NO sympathy.

Lets hope he gets elected leader of the 'don't knows'. It can only benefit us.

Is it not hypocritical that we all say that we dont care if someone is gay or not but when they come out as gay we cant help but feel offended by it? Its complete rubbish to think that homosexuality isnt a taboo subject.

David Dimbleby's just stuck the knife in. Sitting right next to Simon Hughes, he said: "We'll be having a Liberal Democrat leadership debate in two weeks time... with whichever candidates are left...". Ouch.

Folks, you all seem to be missing an important distinction. Simon Hughes did not come out as gay and, by his account, he is not a homosexual. Personally I don't like putting labels on people according to sexuality, but it would appear that Hughes is bisexual, not gay.

Our party needs to be clear that we don't have a problem with Simon Hughes coming out. It would actually be helpful if more of our MPs came out.

The best quote from Question Time had to be Zac Goldsmith:

"I don't like this obsession with rebranding and changing..."

Tell me about it.

Italics madness stopped!

Mission concerning italics unsuccessful!

That was a brilliant Question Time. It started off with Simon Hughes getting lots of sympathy and favourable comments - though when his homosexuality, lying and deceit were criticised, that was quickly swept aside.

John Redwood was as usual, quite brilliant. (If you're reading this John, WELL DONE, you're a credit to the Conservative party.) Though he wasn’t given the most speaking time – he made some excellent points and produced the best comments of the night: the one about Labour ditching the only policy which worked (among thousands that didn’t) and the last shout of the night about the Scottish Brown and wanting to become British!

Zac Goldsmith made a couple of good points – especially regarding re-branding – though he wasn’t given much opportunity it must be said.

Baroness Amos (that loathsome individual) was a particularly pathetic figure being criticised and taking flak on all fronts. I cannot believe that people such as herself still question selection in schools – and those who supported her from the audience were just as bad, either senile (the old woman who babbled on for far too long) and the young student who has no idea about real life – gosh, students have such a tough life, drinking and socialising, not having to work until they’re gone 20.

Claire Foxx. Never heard of her before, but on the whole I thought she was very good – though I am slightly dubious, as the Question Time website reads: “She was co-publisher of the controversial current affairs journal LM Magazine, formerly Living Marxism.” She rubbished NuLabour a number of times which brought on a number of cheers both in the studio and at home! John Redwood was quick to capitalise.

Very enjoyable, and I think, probably good for the Conservative party and certainly our policies were the winning argument lay.



A good Question time Indeed. I would however give Hughes the winning marks tonight, a strong 10/10 given the circumstances - I still think he's probably finished but you have to give him credit for coming out so well. Redwood(9/10) was a close 2nd while Fox (7/10) performed reasonably even if I don't like her.

On the issue of Hughes himself, he shoudn't have lied but good luck to him either way in restoring his leadership bid.

It's obviously better for them if politicians make it clear from the outset that they are gay.
Alan Duncan is a clear case in point, but did his constituency party know when they took him on? It's a complicated situation. If I were a gay prospective candidate, I may be anxious to avoid alienating "traditional" members on the interviewing panel. And in any case, should you breeze into the room and say, "Hi I'm Freddie and I'm a gay man. Got a problem with that?" I don't think so.
I sympathise with Simon Hughes. He realised he was gay at a time when it was dangerous to be "proud to be gay". We shouldn't underestimate the stress he has suffered in keeping his private life under wraps.
I was happy to see that Simon got a sympathetic response from the audience on Question Time this evening and I wish him well in his leadership bid.

Nothing like a leadership contest to bring out the truth about politicians' private lives - sex, drugs and rock n roll! I can't wait til labour have theirs......

Maybe the Lib Dem experience will deter them from having a contest.

Labour will have a succession not a election. Blair will gt what he wants because for only a few months, Brown will be Prime Minister, that being in the run up to the election, then hes out...

I'm just waiting for someone to shoot the dog!

I don't really understand why gay people in politics want to hide. I'm sure nowadays it wouldn't affect their electability (unless they were campy, but that's just annoying, not per se gay).

Certainly if a politician's running for high office they ought to out themselves, for purely practical reasons. Nobody's secrets can withstand that level of pressure. Quicker told, fewer fibs to regret.

nowadays it wouldn't affect their electability

That probably depends on the constituency. Certainly there was an edge of homophobia to some of the campaigning in Falmouth at the last election.

And then there's the example of Exeter City in '97...

The Sun in the gutter, as always. I wonder how many here would react if the tabloids recorded the private bedroom conversations of top Tories.

We need more severe privacy laws - this sort of thing should hurt newspapers financially. If not, we'll all suffer in the long-run, as the truly talented avoid politics because of this sort of muckraking.

An excellent point Andrew.

Amongst all the fuss about this story, why has there been no hoo-ha about how the Sun managed to obtain the telephone evidence it confronted Simon Hughes with?

Forget about clamping the privacy lid down. What a paper can't print, a blogger will, and chances are they're in the USA and out of the UK law's reach. Gotta learn to deal with transparency, because secrecy died with the 20th century.

It's all very well saying there should be privacy laws but come on the Oaten story especially, this guy was putting himself forward as party leader and after the next election could have been a Cabinet Minister. He was wide open to blackmail.

I've seen it said everyone has skeletons in the closet and maybe they do but the guy is married with 2 kids and was paying for sex with rent boys barely in their 20's. If everyone's doing that what the hell sort of country do we live in.

Hughes is bisexual but people keep referring to this as though he were gay. The words are NOT interchangeable and by using "gay" in place of bisexual you are contributing to bi-invisibility. It is very offensive. Please don't mix them up. You wouldn't say a guy who identified publicly as gay and then admitted he was really bisexual (since there are actually some gays who don't like bisexuals) had come out as straight or that he was secretly straight.

Please get it right!


Yuk - hadn't noticed this one.
From 2006 apparently.
Doesn't bear thinking about - well I suppose he won't be putting that kind of thing in his literature again, or the next time there is a by-election.

iam gay.
ilove you sex gay

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