the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity

How gay-friendly is the next Lib Dem deputy leader?

Stonewall publishes voting records for candidates

Stonewall today published voting records for the two Liberal Democrat deputy leadership candidates. The results are based on an analysis of key votes on gay equality in the House of Commons between 2005 and 2010. Both candidates for the deputy leadership are ranked on the votes they could have cast during the last parliament.

Tim Farron scored 29%. The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP was absent for all but three votes and didn’t support Stonewall’s position in any of the votes included. He voted against important legal measures to protect gay people against discrimination by businesses and public services and failed to support a robust criminal offence of incitement to homophobic hatred.

Simon Hughes, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, scored 86%. His score reflects his support for lesbian, gay and bisexual equality in the majority of the votes analysed, including votes on incitement to hatred and fairer treatment for lesbian parents.

The deputy leadership contest was triggered by Vince Cable stepping down on his appointment as Business Secretary. The election will be decided by a vote of the party’s 57 MPs on Wednesday 9 June.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘We hope that Liberal Democrat MPs involved in voting for the next deputy leader will consider the track records of each candidate on equality and that party members will raise equality issues with the candidates. How people have voted in the past is an important indicator of whether they can be trusted to take equality for everyone in Britain seriously in the future.’

Full voting records are available at 

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