From the Guardian:
Last weekend The Observer revealed that Philippa Stroud, the head of a thinktank set up by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith (the Centre for Social Justice), and the Conservative candidate for Sutton and Cheam, has been trying to drive demons out of lesbians, gay men and transsexuals. (…)
Question one: Why hasn’t Cameron asked for Stroud to be deselected and distanced himself from her thinktank?
Last week, the Tory leader said that he decided to suspend Philip Lardner, the Conservative candidate for North Ayrshire and Arra, “within minutes” for writing on his website that he thought homosexuality was “not normal”. Lardner also opined that “most people” consider homosexuality to be “somewhere between unfortunate and simply wrong”. A hate-soaked, erroneous diatribe, but compared to Stroud he looks like Peter Tatchell. Why the discrepancy? How can abusing young people with extremist religious practices be less incriminating than words?
I fear the answer to that one is cynically pragmatic: the Conservative candidate in Sutton and Cheam needs a mere 3,000 votes to take the seat from the Lib Dems. (Electoral Calculus give her about a one in three chance)
Meanwhile, the erstwhile Conservative candidate in Ayrshire North would have needed to take about 11,000 votes from Labour – and not lose any to the SNP, who were neck and neck with him. (Electoral Calculus gives him about a one percent chance)
Far be it from me, of course, to say that whether or not David Cameron gets distressed by bigotry has anything at all to do with whether it’s likely to cost him an extra seat…