New Zealand MP Damien O’ Connor has withdrawn from the Labour Party’s list process because he claimed it was compiled by “a gaggle of gays and self serving unionists”.
Gay lobby groups are demanding an apology from the Labour MP for his public display of homophobia.
On Monday he issued an apology to Labour leader Phil Goff.
Goff is said to have “scolded” the MP about his claims, but also suggested his flagrant homophobia might actually be good publicity
“It will probably help him no end on the Coast. He’s a pretty straight talker and he used West Coast language.”
The comments fuel the conspiracy theory that New Zealand’s Labour party is controlled by gay and left leaning politicians. Michael Stevens, chair of LGBT steering group Rainbow Alliance, rubbishes this argument and believes O Connor is targeting a minority group.