Ex-Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil has claimed Humza Yousaf deliberately missed a key vote on gay marriage in 2014 because he “was under so much pressure from the mosque”. Speaking yesterday, Neil even alleged that then-First Minister Alex Salmond reorganised government business to give Yousaf an “excuse” to conveniently miss the vote:
“I was the cabinet minister who took the equal marriage Bill through the parliament for the government and three weeks before the vote, which was a free vote, unlike the GRR [Gender Recognition Reform]… Humza went to Alex Salmond as the First Minister and asked for permission to skip the vote because, quote, ‘he was under so much pressure from the mosque’, end quote.
So Alex agreed and allowed him to go and organise a ministerial meeting which wasn’t actually organised until 19 days later I think […] which was his excuse for missing the vote.”
Yousaf is already pushing back, claiming “I was proud to vote in favour of the Equal Marriage Bill in Scotland’s Parliament”. Either way, Yousaf’s still the clear frontrunner in the race – nominations close later today…
Humza Yousaf has become the frontrunner in the SNP leadership race. The Scottish Health Secretary has been quick to present himself as a champion of the LGBT community – in contrast to his nearest rival – and the SNP has lapped it up. In the past, Humza’s support hasn’t always been so forthcoming.
In 2014 Yousaf didn’t turn up for the pivotal vote to legalise gay marriage. He claims this was due to an unavoidable meeting with Pakistan General Consul about a Scot on death row – a meeting he booked 19 days prior, just two days after he was told the date he would need to attend the historic gay marriage vote. Surely unrelated to the fact Glasgow imams, an influential voice within his constituency, opposed the reform.
Humza has just told Times Radio “I couldn’t come on your programme and tell you that I’m able to change what Islam says about gay marriage, or gay sex or what the mainstream Islamic view is, I couldn’t, I would be lying to your viewers if I said, everybody will know what the position on mainstream Islam in that respect is. But the question is, do people use the basis of their faith as legislating? I haven’t done so, I wouldn’t do so because I don’t believe that’s the job of legislators or policymakers.” Effectively claiming he will not promote his faith in office.
Humza has also previously voiced his support for Imran Khan – the populist former Prime Minister of Pakistan who banned gay dating app grindr. It seems his unequivocal LGBT support only extends as far as it’s politically expedient…
Former Number 10 Political Secretary, son of Bake Off’s Prue Leith, and now MP Danny Kruger has been sharing a 12 point plan for a new social covenant, through a new organisation he’s set up. Guido hears it has has not been well received by all of his colleagues. A screenshot of one of the points is doing the rounds among Tory MPs on WhatsApp, and not in a good way…
One Tory MP tells Guido the initiative is “trying to return to the 1950s”, and that the “whole report is steeped on an ideological, religious viewpoint which is neither in existence or sought after in a modern day Britain.” The blue-on-blue attacks are bubbling over an issue that many Tory MPs believed to have been settled under David Cameron when equal marriage was passed. Another Tory MP tells Guido the initiative reads like it’s trying to re-fight a settled issue…
Guido is sure all Tories are on the side of family, and believe more should be done to encourage families to have children. Claiming the purpose of a marriage is to “regulate baby making” seems poorly phrased to the modern ear. Another Tory MP tells Guido they are “surprised that they continue to actively publish this stuff”. Just goes to show how conservative Christian values are surprisingly unwelcome in some parts of the Conservative Party…
Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister for Faith, Janet Daby MP, has resigned over comments she made at the weekend surrounding gay marriage. Yesterday the Telegraph revealed that Daby argued a conscience clause should be introduced to protect those who object to certain duties because of their religion; while many in the country would not see the comments as controversial, the MP has now apologised and announced her resignation from the shadow cabinet. Two hours after Tweeting, only 21 people have noticed:
In full, Janet Daby argued:
“There needs to be something in place that protects people of faith as well as those who think the other way. It is an issue of conscience. It is like people having a choice who for reasons of conscience cannot participate in conducting an abortion,”
It’s incredible these comments are resignation-worthy in Sir Keir’s Labour Party…
Piers Morgan: “So you oppose same-sex marriage?”
Jacob Rees-Mogg: “I… I…”
Piers: “Why are you afraid to say you oppose it?”
Rees-Mogg: “The teaching of the Catholic church is completely clear.”
Susanna Reid: “You voted against it?”
Rees-Mogg: “I did. The marriage issue is the important thing…”
Susanna: “Are you completely opposed to abortion in all circumstances?”
Rees-Mogg: “Yes I am.”
Piers: “Rape and incest?”
Rees-Mogg: “I’m afraid so.”
Rees-Mogg: “Life is sacrosanct and begins at the point of conception.”
Nothing that should come as a surprise to any Tory familiar with Jacob. As Guido has been saying, Moggmentum is not a serious thing, Rees-Mogg himself says he is not going to be leader. The leadership talk only serves to give lefty journalists ammunition to make the Tories look silly…