Gay LBC host Iain Dale quits job to attempt to stand in general election

Iain Dale

Gay LBC radio presenter Iain Dale is giving up his job to put himself forward as a candidate in the upcoming UK general election. 

Prime minister Rishi Sunak called the election for Thursday 4 July last week.

Live on air on Tuesday (28 May) evening, Dale, who joined LBC in 2010, announced his bid to become what PinkNews understands to be the Tory candidate for Tunbridge Wells, in Kent. The seat is currently held by former levelling up secretary Greg Clark, who has said he would be joining the Tory MP exodus and standing down at the election.

Dale missed out on becoming an MP in 2005 when he lost to Lib Dem Norman Lamb in Norfolk North by 10,000 votes.

The broadcaster who has a history of taking down homophobes live on air, was open at the time about the abuse he received for being gay. He has presented four general election night and two US presidential election night shows for LBC as well as hosting coverage of the Brexit referendum. 

‘I am putting my hat in the ring again’

“You know how much politics means to me. And if you’ve listened for any length of time, you know I’ve always had two ambitions in life. One was to be a radio presenter and the other was to be an MP,” Dale told listeners.

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Recalling the 2005 election, he said: ”Last time I tried, the electorate fought back, in quite a major way it has to be said. But now I am putting my hat in the ring again.” 

Dale admitted there’s no guarantee that he will be selected, let alone elected, but added: “I would for ever kick myself if I didn’t at least have a go.”

He went on to say he has decided to step aside from his presenting role because “it just feels like the right thing to do” and he thanked his listeners for their loyalty. 

Broadcast rules mean candidates in the general election aren’t allowed to present radio shows. 

Iain Dale
Iain Dale has been a regular on LBC since 2010. (LBC)

“This is the best job I have ever had,” he said. “This won’t, I hope, be the last you hear of me on LBC, but for now that’s it. Thank you and goodbye.”

In a YouTube interview in 2020, Dale said that gay people are almost “over-represented in parliament”.

He also reflected on his previous election campaign, noting that gay people were “a bit of an oddity” in politics at that time.

“I think it is actually really encouraging now that… it’s not an issue any more,” he said.

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