UKIP candidate rejected as speaker at ‘gay cure’ conference

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A UKIP candidate who was set to speak at a ‘gay cure’ conference today has been asked to step aside by organisers who cited concerns about political neutrality.

Former Christian Peoples Alliance leader Alan Craig, who is notorious for his extreme anti-gay views, defected to UKIP last year –and was this week confirmed as the PPC  for Brent North.

Mr Craig – who previously compared gay equality advocates to the invading forces of Nazi Germany – had been set to speak today at the Transformation Potential conference, run by the Core Issues Trust in central London.

The event is described as “an interactive conference event exploring unwanted same-sex attractions”, and Mr Craig is set to take part in a panel on “resisting indoctrination” alongside anti-gay activists including Andrea Williams of Christian Concern.

PinkNews previously confirmed with the Core Issues Trust that Mr Craig was still intending to speak, however he was asked on Monday by organisers to step aside as a speaker at the event.

A Core Issues Trust spokesperson on Monday said they “don’t want the issues at the conference to be associated with any one political party.”

Trust director Mike Davidson had sent an email and a text to Mr Craig to step aside, according to the Huffington Post. 

Mr Craig, an ex-councillor for the London Borough of Newham, was nominated for Stonewall’s ‘Bigot of the Year’ award in 2012.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg recently spoke out about ‘gay cure’ therapy, telling PinkNews in a Q&A that it was “dangerous nonsense”.

Responding to a question from Telegraph boss Lord Guy Black of Brentwood, Mr Clegg said: “It is grossly offensive to me that anyone could think gay people need to be ‘cured’.

“If anything needs curing, it is the outdated belief that being gay is wrong or something to be ashamed of. Sexuality is not an illness but an inherent part of who you are.

“Most people now recognise conversion therapy as dangerous nonsense, but we do need to challenge any remaining counsellors who believe they can ‘treat’ homosexuality.

“Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat Health Minister, helped bring together leading organisations across the NHS, medical and psychological professions to sign up to a new Memorandum of Understanding.

“This made clear that conversion therapy is unethical, potentially harmful and cannot be provided within the NHS. I wouldn’t rule out further action if necessary.”

PinkNews has contacted Alan Craig and Mike Davidson for comment.