First Published: Before August 2002
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
Senior Conservative Alan Duncan has become the first sitting Tory MP to declare publicly that he is gay. Party leader Ian Duncan Smith who's desperate to modernise the Tories, has welcomed his shadow foreign minister's decision.

Mr Duncan Smith said in a letter to him: "What you have done is honest and will not affect you in any way politically in the future."

Alan Duncan speaking on BBC TV
Alan Duncan told The Times newspaper "The Tory view has always been, 'We don't mind, but don't say'. Well, that doesn't work any more. I think the only realistic way to behave these days, particularly if you are a politician, is to be absolutely honest."

The MP said he had received "fantastic" support from his Rutland and Melton Mowbray constituents.

Kenneth Bool, who's chairman of Alan Duncan's local Tory association backed their MP "His honesty is not an act of confession, it is a refreshing act of initiative and typical of the man ...It is simply not an issue, as we believe most people will take a mature view and will not be overly concerned."

Though a member of Ian Duncan Smith's frontbench team, Alan Duncan was a prominent supporter of Michael Portillo's bid to lead the Conservative Party, and he ran William Hague's successful leadership campaign.


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