Columnist Richard Godwin: Does Tory MP Sir Gerald Howarth ‘dream that everyone in Soho wants to bum him?’

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London Evening Standard columnist Richard Godwin jokes Sir Gerald Howarth’s recent comments about the “aggressive homosexual community” maybe because “he really does dream that everyone in Soho wants to bum him.”

Godwin was keen to poke fun at the Conservative MP’s expense following his outspoken remarks during the Commons debate on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on Monday evening.

Stuart Andrew, the gay Conservative MP for Pudsey, criticised Sir Gerald ahead of Tuesday’s successful third reading of the bill.

Making the serious point of how he was previously the victim of a violent homophobic attack, Mr Andrew said: “I am not an aggressive man, but I have had the misfortune of facing aggression in a violent, physical form … In 1997, I was attacked and beaten unconscious by three men because of who and what I am.”

In a swipe at Sir Gerald Howarth and other vocal critics of marriage equality, Richard Godwin wrote in the London Evening Standard: “gay marriage opponents are guided less by ideology than by attitude. You hear it in that amusing complaint: ‘But I do wish they wouldn’t wave it in your face!’ It was also present in Sir Gerald Howarth MP’s reference to the ‘aggressive homosexual community’.

“Perhaps he was referring to the mythical gangs of gays who go out ‘straight-bashing’, use ‘straight’ as an insult and seek to deny straights the rights held by gay people for generations? Or perhaps, like so many of his generation, he really does dream that everyone in Soho wants to bum him. Either way, it marks him out as a relic.”

On Wednesday evening, Richard Godwin tweeted: “Wow. My use of the word ‘bum’ made one reader really angry. Heroic work from @emiliemcmeekan fielding the call.”

He added: “Thanks for all the lovely comments on my column today. I wish you could have heard how ANGRY the caller was earlier.‘BUM?!’”

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