I wasn't going to post anything until tomorrow, but I am so angry at an attempt by the Gay rights group Stonewall (aided by their puppet, little Ben Bradshaw) to paint David Davis as some sort of anti-gay bigot, that I feel I have to respond. Stonewall are sending round an email slagging off David to various of the well known people who have publicly supported his stand on 42 days in an attempt to try to paint him in an unflattering light.**
As you all know by now, yesterday I entered into a civil partnership. We invited a number of friends and family to attend, one of whom was David Davis. It would have been totally understandable if David had pulled out as he has rather a lot of things on his mind at the moment. But not a bit of it. He rang me at mid-day to say he was on his way but he was worried he would be late and didn't want to arrive in the middle of ceremony and upstage it.
David also played a part in the proceedings, and I have been told by several people that he was seen to 'well up' a bit during the ceremony. Having spent the last few days broadcasting to the nation that David "doesn't do emotion" one can only assume he had a bit of grit in his eye!
I could give you countless examples of proof of David's support over the years for gay people, starting from when he was at school where he protected a gay pupil from the local bully to helping Michael Brown when he had troubles with the News of the World. He also proposed my application to get on the candidates list in 2003 and appointed me his chief of staff.
Stonewall reckon he has an anti-gay voting record. They are judging individual votes without looking at the context. He and I have had disagreements about some of these votes, but they do not make him anti-gay. He hasn't got an anti-gay bone in his body, and if he had, I wouldn't have supported him for the leadership.
Ben Bradshaw slags David off for voting against civil partnerships (I am not able to check this out at the moment) but I am as certain as I can be that having attended two civil partnerships (one more than me!) and been so obviously moved at mine yesterday, that if he had to vote on it again, he might vote in a different way.
**UPDATE: Stonewall have been in touch to say an email was sent out to one prominent person who requested information on DD's voting record on this, but as far as they are aware, not to others. However, I am aware of several other high profile people who have received emails along these lines too, albeit not directly from Stonewall. It is clear that there is some sort of briefing operation going on here, as I doubt Ben Bradshaw's letter to The Guardian was done off his own bat.
UPDATE:Two other things related to this have just come to mind. When Ashley Crossley was in trouble in Falmouth and Camborne after a bitterly homophobic campaign, David not went down to support him, he then appointed him to a Head of Research post on his leadership campaign.
Perhaps more tellingly, David appointed Alan Duncan to speak for the Conservatives on the Civil Partnerships Bill in 2004 thereby giving it his seal of approval. His recollection is that he was away the evening of the vote though.