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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 08:48 GMT
Tory resigns over 'homophobic' remarks
John Jenkins
John Jenkins was to stand in Llanelli
A Conservative candidate in May's Welsh Assembly election has resigned after posting comments that his party described as "totally unacceptable" on an internet website.

John Jenkins has stood down from contesting the Llanelli seat after writing that homosexuals needed medical help and that the state should not recognise gay marriage or adoption.

Conservative Central Office Wales said his remarks were not the views of the party.

And the Tory leader in the assembly, Nick Bourne, said that Mr Jenkins' position was "untenable" following the internet remarks.

The Conservatives are now looking to select a new candidate ahead of the election.

On the internet site, 22-year-old Mr Jenkins said: "I hold my hands up and admit to being 'homophobic' if you must label me.

Nick Bourne
Nick Bourne has condemned the remarks
"I cannot convince myself of anything other than homosexuality being a medical mental condition.

"I would not harm an individual for being gay but just think that they need medical attention rather than their 'fashionable' display of sexual deviancy being pandered to.

"Marriage is an act between a man and a woman. Gays cannot get married. The state should not legitimise it or recognise it.


"As for adoption, deciding to remain 'gay' is a personal choice.

"No child deserves to be brought into this world with two mummies or two daddies.

"You need a male and a female to reproduce and, like marriage, the state should not legitimise gay adoption.

"(I) Don't think there should be gays in the armed forces either.

Mr Jenkins remarks are not the views of the Conservative Party and are totally unacceptable
Welsh Conservative statement
"I am not informed on this subject but if those in charge of the armed forces think this policy would be detrimental to our armed forces then that is good enough for me."

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Nick Bourne, said: "As soon as we saw (the comments) on Tuesday, I thought it was terminal for John Jenkins.

"We have acted incredibly swiftly in terms of what is an untenable situation for the former candidate in Llanelli.

"I wasn't in a position to sack John Jenkins, but I made it clear that his position was untenable.

"To do him justice, he resigned immediately," said Mr Bourne.

Mr Jenkins has claimed that the remarks were not his own views and he was trying to stimulate debate.

He added: "The views expressed were made to stimulate debate and were not my own.

"But because of the sensitive political issues involved, more consideration should have been made by me as not to cause offence."

John Jenkins facts
John Jenkins was born in 1981
He was educated at Graig Comprehensive School, Llanelli
He studied social policy at the University of Wales, Swanse
Mr Jenkins is a keen supporter of Llanelli RFC

In a statement, the Welsh Conservative Party said: "Mr Jenkins' remarks are not the views of the Conservative Party and are totally unacceptable.

"His resignation has been offered to the director of the Welsh Conservative Party and duly accepted.

"The forum on which these views were posted is not an official Conservative website.

Arrangements are now being made to select a new candidate for Llanelli, the statement said.

But Mr Jenkins has won the backing of a right-wing Conservative pressure group, which says he has been "hounded" for expressing traditionalist Tory views.

Mike Smith, chairman of the Conservative Democratic Alliance - which describes itself as the Conservative Party in exile - said Mr Jenkins should be reinstated.

He told BBC Wales News Online: "I don't necessarily agree with what he's saying, but he has a perfect right to say it, and there's a substantial number of people within the Conservative Party who would agree with him.

Insulting comments

"I've been a member of the party for 30 years.

"He's quite young, but the average age of members is about 67 and they will agree with him.

"It's about Conservatives being told we will not express our views on one thing or another."

The CDA is a splinter group of the right-wing Monday Club. It has about 1,100 members, most in southern England, but some in Wales.

The incident is not the first time that Mr Jenkins has come under fire for expressing his views on the internet.

In 2001, the then-chairman of Llanelli's Conservative Association made insulting comments about Plaid Cymru on the chatroom of an internet site run by a Welsh newsgroup.

Mr Jenkins, who was then a student at Swansea University, said at the time that the remarks were a joke aimed at users of the site from other political parties.

BBC Wales' Hywel Griffith
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