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Thursday, 5 August 2010

Conservative Council leader Councillor Kay Cutts snubs gay activist

Ian Campbell was to be presented with a youth citizenship award by the leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Councillor Kay Cutts.

Now Ian Campbell who is gay, was to be presented with the award for his work promoting gay rights and fighting bullying and anti homophobia in schools.

Ian is also the youngest Mayor in the United Kingdom.  At the age of 23 the Labour Councillor was elected to the post of Mayor of Retford, also in Nottinghamshire.

In the past the Leader of Nottinghamshire Council has presented the winner with officials presenting the other awards.

Ian Campbell was chosen as joint Young Person of the Year in Nottinghamshire by a panel of judges including Nottinghamshire's chief constable and given the award at the end of last year.

According to the BBC News website:

The organiser of the Young People of the Year awards, Tony Gearing, claimed: "She was very off hand and had decided she wouldn't take part - despite pleading - with the photographs or with the handing over of the prizes."
It appears that Councillor Cutts asked Ian Campbell what the award was for, and once he had told her she withdrew her hand and was in a bit of shock.

However, as she wasn't available for comment it was left to a spokesperson to comment, who in my opinion has actually added even more fuel to the fire.

The spokesman said:
"The Conservative Party takes allegations of homophobia extremely seriously.

"(We) are satisfied that her conduct at the youth awards ceremony in question was exemplary and any suggestion to the contrary is completely inaccurate.

"None of her actions were in any way homophobic."
He then added Councillor Cutts had refused to be photographed with the winner because he was a Labour Party activist.

The Conservative Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has refused to have a photo taken with the Mayor of Retford, Councillor Ian Campbell.

Kay Cutts needs to grow up and apologise publicly and then donate money to a LGBT charity of Ian Campbell's choice.

Bassetlaw District Council is Conservative run, but chose to elect Ian Campbell as the Mayor - Ian won his seat from the Conservatives by just 15 votes.  So, in that part of the County the Conservatives are much more grown up than the leader of the Shire, Kay Cutts could well take lessons from her colleagues.

Ian was thrown out of his home when he came out, so I am sure this minor mishap will be nothing to him, but I hope he pursues it and shames Kay Cutts.

UPDATE Friday 6th August 17.37pm
Ian Campbell saw my original blog post and via twitter we have been chatting.

It appears that Councillor Kay Cutts has come out on the attack via BBC Radio Nottingham and has yet again today stressed that she refused to have a photo taken with Ian because he is a Labour Party activist.

Councillor Cutts - what a load of crap.

Go back and read exactly why Ian Campbell won the award, see what happened to him when he came out?

Ian Campbell's political allegiance has diddly squat to do with him winning the award and he was only at the ceremony because he won the award, nothing to do with being a Labour Councillor nor to do with him being the youngest Mayor in the UK.

Councillor Cutts either you are being homophobic, or just plain stupid?

Ian Campbell has stated on twitter to me (so it is in the public domain) that he will accept a full apology from Councillor Kay Cutts.

I think Ian is being great, I still think he should push for a personal donation to a LGBT charity, there is enough of them in Nottingham that would benefit from a donation of £100.

So readers, here is where you come in, if like Ian and I (different political allegiances) you think that Councillor Kay Cutts owes Ian Campbell a full and public apology, and if you like a personal donation of £100 to a LGBT charity of Ian's choice then email her today, in fact do it now!

Councillor Kay Cutts - Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council.  Just click on her name or here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's look at the facts;

1) This happened last year.
2) Cllr Campbell was neither a Councillor or Mayor at the time

Some questions then;

1) Why has this only come out now?
2) Cllr Cutts didn't refuse to have her picture taken with a Mayor of Retford. He wasn't Mayor of Retford.

The simple fact must be that Cllr Cutts snubbed Cllr Campbell was because he was gay, she can't claim anything else.

Also, I think its unwise for a Mayor to be playing such party politics, but hey ho.

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