Daily Mail writer Melanie Phillips and MSP Bill Walker tipped for Bigot of the Year

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Gay rights charity Stonewall has announced the nominees for its annual Hero and Bigot of the Year awards.

Those in the running for Bigot of the Year include Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips who claimed gay charities were “brainwashing children” and MSP Bill Walker, who said gay relationships should not be “in any way equal” to straight ones.

Other contenders are Scottish entrepreneur and Section 28 backer Brian Souter, who was knighted this year; Christian Voice leader Stephen Green and the Rt Rev Arthur Roche, a previous nominee who has campaigned for adoption agencies to be allowed to bar gay people.

Nominees for Hero of the Year include pop star Lady Gaga, veteran musician Joan Armatrading and actor and drag queen Bette Bourne.

Also nominated are Roger Crouch, who has been campaigning for gay rights since his 15-year-old son Dominic killed himself last year, after apparently suffering homophobic bullying and Paul Martin, the chief executive of the Manchester-based Lesbian & Gay Foundation.

Stonewall supporters will vote for the winners of the Hero and Bigot of the Year awards, as well as choosing the winner of the Community Group of the Year.

Seven awards – including Writer and Entertainer of the Year – will be chosen by a panel of judges including England women’s national football team coach Hope Powell, John Partridge, Gok Wan, TV producer Maureen Chadwick and Eddie Mair.

Gay comedian Stephen K Amos will present the November 3rd award ceremony at London’s V&A Museum.