Lib Dem candidate who said water turns you gay loses her election deposit

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

A Liberal Democrat candidate who said “feminising hormones in the water supply” affect people’s sexuality has failed in her election bid.

Susan King, who stood in the west Midlands seat of Telford, limped in with just 954 votes in the June 8 election, which resulted in a hun parliament.

King managed about 2% of the vote share in the constituency, meaning she lost her election deposit.

Tim Farron

She still managed to beat the party’s 2015 result, however, where they got a slightly lower 927 votes.

It is unclear whether her views on water changing sexuality helped her total.

The candidate came to notoriety after being asked about her views on Lib Dem leader Tim Farron’s repeated refusal to say whether gay sex was a sin.

After a week of intense questioning and controversy in April, Farron eventually told the BBC that he didn’t believe gay sex was sinful.

Farron almost lost his seat in the General Election, having his majority slashed to just a few hundred.

King responded to the question, posed by the Shropshire Star during a live webchat, by saying: “I do feel environmental influences are affecting reproduction.

“All the pollution is having an effect on our DNA and our population is changing and evolving.”

She added: “There are a lot of feminising hormones getting into the environment and that has to be taken into consideration.

“It’s affecting people’s sexuality basically.

“People are at liberty to interpret how they want to live themselves.”

Unprompted, she continued to say: “Phthalates, the chemicals used in making plastics, children’s toys are affected.

“Everything that’s getting into the environment is disrupting the way industrialisation has changed our living conditions, residues of all sorts of feminising hormones in the water supply from pharmaceutical etc which is affecting gender of fish stock etc.”

King, a landscape specialist who has stood twice before in Leicestershire, was then asked if she thought that was having an effect on people’s sexuality.

“I do,” she responded.

“I’ve done a lot of research connected with water quality, and that is where I gained my political and media experience.”

King worked for three years as a director of the National Pure Water Association, according to Campanies House.

This non-profit organisation campaigns for non-fluoridated water, despite broad scientific agreement that fluoride has reduced tooth decay in the general population.

In response, a Lib Dem spokesperson condemned the comments prior to the election, saying: “Susan King’s remarks were wrong and do not reflect party policy or accepted science.

“An internal post-election candidate review will take place after polling day where her eligibility to stand for the party in future will be reviewed.”

In a statement released by the Lib Dems, King said: “I am deeply sorry for the offence caused by my comments. This was not my intention.

“The Liberal Democrats have a strong record of upholding LGBT+ rights which I fully support.”