Out former soldier James Wharton to apologise for ‘shut down gay saunas’ comments

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Out former soldier James Wharton will apologise for controversial comments he made earlier this year, when he called for gay saunas to be shut down.

Writing in Winq magazine, the soldier, who served alongside Prince Harry in the Household Cavalry, said that saunas were “thorns in our side that mark our community as different for the wrong reasons”. He later clarified his comments, and defended the original column.

A source with access to the new edition of Wharton’s new book, which will come out next month, told PinkNews that he had reassessed his position on the issue after a period of travelling and reflection following the breakdown of his Civil Partnership.

The source said in the book Wharton admits he was wrong to judge and that he wanted to apologise to those offended by the comments.

In the original comments, Wharton said: “If we don’t, we feed the haters and we hand the bigots who remain a vocal minority ammunition with which to attack us”

“For me as a gay man, the notion that there exist within our communities a series of places that actively promote the convening of gay men for participation in sex of shades various and in groups of all sizes rather revolts me – and I’ve been round the block a few times, believe me.

“I’m no prude, not even close, but the days when we gathered in clandestine fashion for the want of a network or a sexual outlet are surely long gone.”

Wharton was unavailable for comment at time of publication.