Friday 9 April 2010

Chris Grayling spotted! Is this the B&B campaign tour?

Next Left has noted that Chris Grayling's shunning of the national political spotlight - not joining his Shadow Cabinet colleagues at the final PMQs because he was "busy campaigning", and today skipping a Jeremy Vine discussion on crime with his Labour and LibDem counterparts - could risk repeating Oliver Letwin's mistake in 2001.

But we now have news from the campaign trail. Chris Grayling has been spotted in Ibstock with Tory candidate for North-West Leicestershire Andrew Bridgen.

And, lo, the Leicester Mercury has the story that the candidate has "considerable sympathy" with the idea of amending the law to allow B&B owners to discriminate against gay couples, by not considering them as businesses subject to the equality law.

Mr Bridgen said: "At the end of the day our policy is, we voted for the Equality Bill and as far as people who run a business, they have to offer the same services to everyone.

"But I do have sympathy with someone who is opening up their own home to a guest.

"A public house has the right to refuse a customer and they don't have to give a reason, so I have considerable sympathy for B and B owners in this case.

"It's a grey area, but perhaps the size of the establishment could separate the difference between opening your home to paying guests and a business."

It's more "the law" than a "grey area", as I am sure the would-be Home Secretary could now advise his fellow candidate.

But I am just not sure the Chris Grayling B&B tour of the marginals was precisely what Tory HQ had in mind.


Silent Hunter said...


Labour PPC for Moray is causing a stink for the Labour Party . . .Dig up last weeks news and try and deflect the publics attention.

LOL Transparently desperate.

Sunder Katwala said...

That candidate's been sacked, and rightly so.

And Labour bloggers, those who had time to react to it in the couple of hours after it broke, said he should go. Alex Smith of LabourList blogged it; Will Straw tweeted that he should go; I retweeted their pieces on that this morning, though he then went very quickly.

Silent Hunter said...

I'm sorry Sunder, but this guy was on the "following" list of just about every top Labour politician on Twitter - did none of them think to say to him - "whoa there son, steady on, that's the kind of loose talk that will get us all into trouble"?

And I hear he was pushed before he could jump.

The trouble for Labour is that they are being given a taste of their own medicine and they clearly don't like it.

But as the saying has it . . . "Live by the sword, die by the sword".

BTW . . . Jim Murphy the Scottish Labour Campaign Leader did NOT say he should go immediately.
So NOT every Labour party person said he should go - it was only after he said he would resign - ask Guido!