UK's Clegg in row over gay marriage jibe

2012-09-12 18:00
(AP,File)

(AP,File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

London - British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg faced criticism on Wednesday after he was forced to withdraw a planned speech in which he called opponents of gay marriage "bigots".

Liberal Democrat leader Clegg was due to make the barb during a speech at a reception in London late on Tuesday, extracts released by his office beforehand revealed.

According to the press statement, Clegg was to say that "continued trouble in the economy gives the bigots a stick to beat us with, as they demand we 'postpone' the equalities agenda".

But an amended version was released an hour later which replaced the word "bigots" with "some people".

The under-fire party leader insisted that the original release had been sent out in error and assured guests at the event in central London that he would never use such "insulting" language.

"I am a little bit surprised to see cameras assembled outside the gates, for the slightly obscure surprising reason that they expect me to use a word about opponents of gay marriage that I had no intention of using, would never use," he said.

Christians offended

"It is not the kind of word that I would use... While I stridently disagree with those who would block moves towards equal marriage, I never seek to engage in debate in insulting terms."

Former archbishop of Canterbury George Carey said words used in the original press release were "very offensive".

"If he persists in taking that view I and others would be very offended," he told the BBC.

The Liberal Democrats are the junior partners in a coalition government headed by the Conservative Party.

Plans to introduce same-sex marriage by 2015 have caused unrest within the government with the right-wing of the Conservative party threatening to scupper the bill.

Conservative lawmaker Peter Bone accused Clegg of insulting "millions of people with deep convictions of religion and conscience".

Media reaction

"I don't see how that could have got published without it being the view of the Deputy Prime Minister," he said. "He has got to rapidly get out there on the airwaves apologising."

The row dominated the front pages of Britain's right-wing newspapers on Wednesday.

The Daily Mail ran with the headline "Fury over Clegg 'bigot' slur on gay marriage opponents" and the Daily Telegraph splashed "Clegg in gay marriage 'bigots' row" across its front page.

Read more on:    nick clegg  |  uk  |  gay rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Booers are empty vessels

President Jacob Zuma has labelled people who boo at him "empty vessels who make the most noise".

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Khayelitsha - 10:40 AM
    Road name: N2 Outbound
    ROADWORKS - centre lane closed before the Mew Way exit
  • Wednesday Century City - 10:31 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC between Bosmansdam Road and Century Boulevard due to roadworks in the area
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Welcome on board the kalahari.com 24 hour sale on books!

Today only, buy 1 book and get 1 FREE on the top 100 books. Offer expires midnight 23 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Get 50% off selected books!

Buy 2 books and get 50% off the second book. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be constantly on the move, working too hard, networking and making sure everything is working and everyone is satisfied,...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.