Civil partnership for senior Tory

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After a whirlwind 14-month romance leading Conservative MP Alan Duncan has proposed to his boyfriend.

He met 39-year-old James Dunseath at a dinner arranged by friends and proposed to him on Valentine’s Day during a holiday in Oman.

They are expected to hold a civil partnership ceremony later this year.

Mr Duncan, 50, is the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and has been MP for Rutland and Melton since 1992.

He is the first Tory MP and the first member of either the Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet to enter into a civil partnership.

He came 15th on the list of the 50 most powerful LGBT people in British politics published in December.

“Compact, suave and beautifully presented, Alan Duncan is the liberal, urbane face of the Conservative party,” his citation read.

“He became the first Tory MP to voluntarily come out, in 2002, has been a frontbench presence for nearly a decade and is a nimble Commons performer.

“Duncan has a devoted following among some gay Tories, and he has certainly spoken up in favour of gay rights, often disagreeing, politely, with many of his own colleagues.

“His style and politics sit well with Cameron, and he can expect to retain a high profile presence on the frontbench.”

Tory leader David Cameron told the Daily Telegraph:

“I am absolutely delighted for Alan and James, and wish them all the very best.”

The paper reports the civil partnership will be entered into at Marylebone Registry Office this summer.

If Mr Cameron attends, it will be the first he has gone to.

Mr Duncan and Mr Dunseath announced their intention to enter into a partnership in the Court Social page of today’s Daily Telegraph.

“We hit it off instantly and our friends say we are inseparable,” Mr Dunseath told the paper.

“He may be a politician but he’s great fun. We both feel it’s so right and we’re very lucky.”