Former Tory candidate warned by employer over anti-gay comments

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

A teacher who stood for election as a Conservative candidate has been given a written warning by his employer for remarks about homosexuality.

Philip Lardner was deselected by the Conservative Party in April after writing on his campaign website that homosexuality was not “normal” and should not be “encouraged”.

He unsuccessfully stood as an independent candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran.

Mr Lardner was suspended from his job at Rashielea Primary School in Renfrewshire for the remarks but a disciplinary hearing held this week decided he will be allowed to keep his job after receiving a written warning.

He has vowed to challenge the decision on behalf of other Christian teachers.

“If I don’t challenge this, other teachers will never be able to voice personal opinions in the future,” he told the Scottish Daily Mail.

In April, Mr Lardner wrote on his website that “most” people agree that homosexuality is wrong, that it is not normal and that children should not be “encouraged” to “indulge” in it.

He also gave his support to Section 28, the repealed law which banned promotion of homosexuality in schools.

He wrote: “I will always support the rights of homosexuals to be treated within concepts of (common-sense) equality and respect, and defend their rights to choose to live the way they want in private, but I will not accept that their behaviour is ‘normal’ or encourage children to indulge in it.

“The promotion of homosexuality by public bodies was correctly outlawed by Mrs Thatcher’s government. Toleration and understanding is one thing, but state-promotion of homosexuality is quite another.”

He was told by Scottish Conservative Party officials to remove the comments after they were revealed by but later reposted them.

Defending the remarks, Mr Lardner said: “I believe ordinary people are sick and tired of political correctness. This is still a broadly Christian country, and I believe parents should have the right to oppose the promotion of homosexuality in schools.”