British MP Andrew Turner calls homosexuality 'dangerous'

A Conservative leader said he could not condone the comments "in any way"

British MP Andrew Turner calls homosexuality 'dangerous'

Andrew Turner, Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, in 2008 | Image: Johnny Green/PA Archive/PA Images

A Conservative British MP who told students that homosexuality is "wrong" and "dangerous to society" has said he will not stand in the upcoming general election.

Andrew Turner (63) who has represented the Isle of Wight for 16 years, made the remarks while talking to politics students at Christ the King College in Newport.

In a post on Facebook, student Esther Poucher said she had been "truly shocked" when the MP said he would not be going to a Pride event on the island.

The LGBT campaigner wrote: "He told us that he'd been invited, but wasn't intending to go.

"This is because (and this is a direct quote) he thinks that homosexuality is 'wrong' and 'dangerous to society'.

"At this answer, I had to leave."

Ms Poucher added: "Yes, we all believe different things, and that's wonderful. But when that belief treats a group as sub-human, and attempts to take away their fundamental rights, we can't respect it."

Another student who heard the comments, 17-year-old Toby Sheard, said he had been "completely shocked", adding that it was "the right thing for him (Mr Turner) not to stand again".

Mr Turner neither confirmed nor denied making the comments but in a statement said it had been a "privilege to serve the people of the Isle of Wight".

He added that it was time for "a new generation to take up the mantle".

"He is right to stand down"

The Conservative leader of Isle of Wight Council, Dave Stewart, said: "I could not condone in any way the comments by Andrew Turner and I feel he is right to stand down.

"Island Conservatives are fielding several candidates in next week's council elections who are gay, and this is most certainly not an opinion that either myself or anyone else in the team of Conservative council candidates would ever support."

Mr Stewart added: "It is very disappointing to hear such comments from someone I know and it is a shame for him to end to his career in this way, but what he said was unacceptable."

In a statement posted on Twitter, Isle of Wight Pride said: "Any person who makes such a statement in a public forum as our MP is dangerous.

"Suicide rates amongst LGBT young people are still disproportionately high.

"Mr Turner did not know if anyone in the room was struggling with their sexuality or gender identity and he does not know how his comments may have impacted on those present."