Lib Dem MP highly commended for campaign to stop homophobic chants at football matches

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Liberal Democrat MP has been named one of four Top MPs by Total Politics magazine for his campaign to end homophobic chants at football games.

John Leech, MP for Manchester Withington was commended by the magazine, as he was a runner-up in the magazine’s monthly ‘top MP’ honour.

Back in April Mr Leech had submitted a motion, which called on police, football clubs, supporters and the football governing bodies, to work together in order to eradicate homophobic chants from football games.

Mr Leech said: “I want the FA to give the same priority to stamping out homophobic chanting at games that they do to tackle racism.”

Back in March, a complaint was filed by the Brighton and Hove Supporters Club and the Gay Football Supporters’ Network, and says that fans were on the receiving end of homophobic abuse at 57% of matches.

Following the complaint, Mr Leech, who is the Lib Dem spokesperson for Culture, Leisure and Sport, had contacted both organisations, and agreed to work on the Early Day Motion, which called on authorities and governing bodies to tackle the issue of homophobic chanting.

Alongside Mr Leech, the co-sponsors included Brighton Green MP for Brighton, Caroline Lucas and Tory MP for Hove, Mike Weatherley, and Labour MP for Luton North Kelvin Hopkins.

There are 27 signatures on the measure so far from across all major political parties at Westminster.

Chris Basiurski, the Chair of the Gay Football Supporters’ Network said: “Our report spelt out that at 72% of games, Brighton fans suffered homophobic abuse. This needs to be addressed. We are glad that John Leech has been recognised for highlighting this important issue in Parliament.”

Openly gay professional US football player Robbie Rogers, recently spoke in an interview to say that he thinks the football industry in the UK is “a bit more homophobic”, than in the US.

Earlier today, the Scottish Government pledged to tackle homophobia in sport by creating a charter for LGBT people, in order to help address the issue.