Ken under attack for gay ‘riddled’ comments

By Ian Dunt

Ken Livingstone ran into a storm of controversy today when he said the Conservative party was "riddled" with homosexuality.

Speaking to the New Statesman, the London mayoral hopeful compared his own personal life with that of Boris Johnson.

"We [Boris and I] both have five [children]. I can admit to all mine," he said.

"[The public] should be allowed to know everything, except the nature of private relationships – unless there is hypocrisy, like some Tory MP denouncing homosexuality while they are indulging in it."

Asked about his use of the phrase "Tory MP", Mr Livingstone added: "Well, the Labour ones have all come out.

"As soon as Blair got in, if you came out as lesbian or gay you immediately got a job. It was wonderful . . . you just knew the Tory party was riddled with it like everywhere else is."

In a gob-smacking interview which is sure to seized on by his critics, Mr Livingstone goes on to brand BBC director-general Mark Thompson "a moral imbecile" and saying Henry Kissinger "wasn't going to get laid until he was powerful".

Mr Livingstone was previously criticised for sharing a platform with Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a homophobic Islamic preacher. The then-mayor said the preacher was a valuable voice against terrorism.

Mr Johnson has not got a spotless record on gay issues either. Hesupported Section 28 and landed himself in trouble for comparing gay marriage to getting engaged with a dog.

"If gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog," he wrote.