Gay newspaper Pink News reports
that Prezza’s generous host, Mr Anschutz, has donated large sums of money to Colorado for Family Values
, an organisation with explicitly homophobic views. He is also a major patron of the Republican Party and funded ‘Amendment 2’
, a voter initiated ballot to overturn gay rights in the state of Colorado. Peter Tatchell told Pink News:
“It is highly inappropriate for the Deputy Prime Minister to accept hospitality from someone who is a hard-line homophobe and who clearly stands to benefit from casino franchises that are being dolled out by Mr Prescott’s government. I doubt that Mr Prescott would accept the hospitality from an avowed racist or anti-Semite. Why then is he prepared to be hosted by a bigoted homophobes?”
Ben Summerskill, the Chief Executive of the gay lobbying and campaign group Stonewall says “I think Mr Anshutz is unlikely to be turning away the pink pound should he win the license to open up Britain’s first super casino.”
Even the LibDem’s Shadow DCMS Secretary, Don Foster chimes in to the chorus:
“It is ludicrous to say that John Prescott was not involved in the planning process for casinos. There were numerous links between Mr Prescott’s department and the casino legislation. John Prescott chaired the Domestic Affairs Cabinet Committee, with links to the independent advisory panel recommending the location of new casinos to the Government. The ODPM was also responsible for establishing a new planning category for casinos and in its report makes detailed comments on the regeneration benefits of casinos. It is clear that there are still serious questions that require full and frank answers from Mr Prescott.”
Downing Street was briefing against Guido to the lobby today, Prescott’s spokesman was quoting the Victoria Beckham line “we’re not going to dignify the allegations with a response”. Rebecca Loos, of course, did shag David Beckham.
Newsnight is going to have a go at Guido tonight. Iain Dale is playing defence. Guido is off to play boules… something some lobby journalists clearly couldn’t play.