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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Justine Greening announces she is gay on London's Pride day

The International Development secretary chose to disclose her relationship on the day record numbers have packed into the West End to celebrate this year’s Pride festival.

The Putney, Roehampton and Southfields MP tweeted: “Today's a good day to say I'm in a happy same sex relationship, I campaigned for Stronger In but sometimes you're better off out! #Pride2016.”

The post has been retweeted more than a thousand times in the space of an hour.

Making her announcement on Twitter, the politician, who campaigned for the UK to remain part of the European Union, quipped: “Sometimes you’re better off out.” She immediately received a flurry of support from Twitter users, including more than 600 retweets and a thousand likes in just half an hour.

The 47-year-old former finance manager, who has served in the cabinet since 2010, joins at least 35 other out peers and MPs in the UK parliament, which already boasts the highest number of openly gay representatives of any legislature in the world.

David Mundell, who came out last year, tweeted: “So pleased for you! You won't regret it. Coming out was the best thing I ever did #Pride2016

Matt Hancock wrote: “Many congratulations Justine - and happy #Pride2016.”

And Margot James, the first openly lesbian politician in the party, added: “Congratulations Justine, I am very happy for both of you, wonderful news and a brilliant announcement, Margot x.

Belgian Georges Peters said people felt Friday was a “black day” for Europe.

Flying the flag of his nation, the 44-year-old said: “I was very disappointed about the vote. I think this is bad for the economy and it’s important that we stand together.

“I have friends from other parts of Europe who live in the UK and they are saying it’s very sad, it’s a black day in the history of Europe.”

Greening’s announcement comes just five months after David Mundell, the Scottish secretary, became the first openly gay Tory cabinet member. Weeks later, two more MPs, the SNP’s business spokeswoman, Hannah Bardell, and Labour’s shadow Welsh secretary, Nia Griffith, revealed their sexuality at a photoshoot arranged to celebrate LGBT history month.

It is another milestone in the gradual transformation of the Conservative party, which once disastrously marketed itself as the party of “family values”, only for its claims to be obliterated by a series of sleaze scandals in the 1990s.

In the 2015 election the Conservatives fielded more openly gay candidates than any other party, including 39 men and three women. However, it was Labour that got the ball rolling with the appointment of Chris Smith – the first openly gay MP, who came out in the 1980s – to the post of culture secretary in 1997.


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