EASTBOURNE MP Nigel Waterson has been described as the 'most homophobic MP in Westminster' by a local Labour spokesman.
Dave Brinson, the chair of Eastbourne Labour Party, backed claims by deputy leadership contender Hazel Blears that the Conservative Party is 'riddled with homophobia', citing the voting record of Mr Waterson.
In the week when the Tory party defended itself against Ms Blears' claims, Mr Brinson questioned why the Eastbourne MP retains his front bench job, despite 'disagreeing with his leader over equality laws'.
"Nigel Waterson has been an opponent of every piece of legislation that has sought to promote equality for gay and lesbian citizens," said Mr Brinson.
"Indeed, he spoke strongly in the Commons against the repeal of the bully's charter Section 28. The Tory chairman Francis Maude has apologised for voting for Section 28 in 1988, and even Michael Howard has admitted that he was wrong.
"David Cameron supports civil partnerships, and has made serious, if not necessarily credible, attempts to woo the gay and lesbian vote.
"While there are always disagreements over policy in any party, the tradition is that those who can't agree with the leadership should not serve on the front bench — as proved during the recent grammar schools row.
"Why on earth is Nigel Waterson, who is so obviously at odds with Cameron on important equality issues, allowed to keep his job?"
However, Mr Waterson hit back by saying he was 'certainly not going to be drawn into the Labour Party deputy leadership contest, as the candidates seem to be vying for who can be the most absurdly extreme and left wing'.
He said, "These matters are always the subject of free votes and for the conscience of individual MPs. Politics should not come into it. My voting record speaks for itself.
"Gay and lesbian people are entitled to live their lives without legal interference or prejudice. But I do reject some aspects of the radical 'gay rights' agenda in this country.
"For example, I was appalled the other day to read that a teaching union was arguing that schoolchildren should not be taught about family life as this could be construed as 'discriminatory' against gays."
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