Tory candidate defends ties to gay ‘cure’ group

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A Tory candidate says she “stands by” her decision to accept an intern from a Christian group that advocates gay ‘cure’ therapy.

Caroline Ansel was elected MP for Eastbourne in 2015 and is currently fighting for re-election.

The candidate came under scrutiny this week after a report on Buzzfeed exposed her ties to Christian Action Research and Education (CARE), an anti-LGBT evangelical organisation which has advocated for ‘gay cure’ therapy.

Though other senior Conservatives have previously disavowed their ties to CARE, Ms Ansell accepted an intern from the group as recently as September 2016.

Caroline Ansell and Theresa May

The candidate insists she does not believe in gay ‘cures’, but is equally defensive of her ties to CARE.

Taking to her Facebook, Ms Ansell branded the reports ‘fake news’.

She wrote: “I do not think gay people can be cured and never have. I am tolerant of everyone and their beliefs, sexual orientation, colour and creed.

“The article is fake news, it tries to link me to CARE for political reasons.

“I have a CARE intern because she was the best candidate after I interviewed.

“To have not given her a job because she is religious is discrimination and I stand by my decision.”

She added: “Please note, this so-called article offers no evidence I believe gay people can be cured or I have taken part in such activities and that’s because there isn’t any.”

Challenged by local residents, she said: “I would never vote to directly disadvantage the LGBT community. I would not vote to repeal any legislation.

“CARE has no influence over my work in Parliament. I do not receive favour or benefit from them.

“I have already given you my reasons for employing my intern.”

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In 2012, CARE attracted protests over a London conference geared at religious ways to cure people “struggling with unwanted SSA (same-sex attraction)”.

According to the organisers, the conference was “ideal for clergy, rabbis, psychologists, therapists, educators and others concerned about the plethora of sexual issues confronting us in today’s society, including mentoring the sexually broken”.

CARE had ties to Joseph Nicolosi PhD of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) an infamous US-based gay cure group.

Just last month a Tory MP was forced out on the Isle of Wight after allegedly telling school kids that being gay is “dangerous to society”.

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