Pop tycoon funds gay pride fire appeal

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A former pop mogul turned politician has promised to back an appeal from nine fire-fighters disciplined for refusing to distributing fire safety leaflets at a gay pride event.

George Hargreaves, who launched gay icons such as Sinitta, is donating £50,000 to an appeal, vowing to take the case all the way to the House of Lords.

Last August, nine firemen from Strathclyde Fire Service were ordered to undergo an intensive course in “diversity training” as a punishment for refusing to carry out their jobs at the gay Pride Scotia in June.

One of the officers, Brian Herbert, was demoted from watch manager to crew manager, with a £5,000 pay cut.

Mr Hargreaves, a founding member of the Scottish Christian party and candidate for elections in May, told the Sunday Mail: “If there is anything less than a total exoneration then Strathclyde can look forward to going all the way to the House of Lords.”

He said the officers deserve better after arguing that it was against their “moral conscience” to attend the gay pride event.

The officers’ bosses judged that their refusal to hand out the leaflets represented a “fundamental breach of their core responsibilities.”