Andrew Turner MP told students that homosexuality is “wrong” and “dangerous to society”.
The Island’s MP stepped aside yesterday (Friday), thanking the people of the Isle of Wight who have voted for him over the last 16 years.
He said: “After 16 years I have come to the decision that it time for a new generation to take up the mantle of representing my fantastic constituency.
“I am grateful for the support I have received from islanders and proud of the record that Conservatives have in delivering for the island.
“In the forthcoming election I will be supporting the Conservative candidate to ensure the strong and stable leadership of Theresa May is returned to Downing Street.”
Earlier in the day the 63-year old visited Christ the King College in Newport.
During his visit it is alleged that he claimed homosexuality is “wrong” and “dangerous”
College student Esther Poucher wrote in a Facebook post:
“So today our Conservative MP Andrew Turner came into our A level politics class to let us ask him questions about his work,” she wrote.
“As a passionate campaigner for LGBT rights, and basically just a decent human being, I decided to open up a discussion about Isle of Wight pride.
“I asked him if he’d had any involvement in the event, and his answer has truly shocked me to the point of outrage. He told us that he’d been invited, but wasn’t intending to go. This is because (and this is a direct quote) he thinks that homosexuality is ‘wrong’ and ‘dangerous to society’.”
She added: “Yes, we all believe different things, and that’s wonderful. But when that belief treats a group as sub-human, and attempts to take away their fundamental rights, we can’t respect it.”
Mr Turner neither confirmed nor denied making the comments but in a statement said it had been a “privilege to serve the people of the Isle of Wight”.
Conservative Council Leader, Dave Stewart, has said Andrew Turner’s opinion is not one shared by other Conservatives.
Responding to yesterday’s events Cllr Stewart said:
“I could not condone in any way the comments by Andrew Turner and I feel he is right to stand down.
“Island Conservatives are fielding several candidates in next week’s council elections who are gay, and this is most certainly not an opinion that either myself or anyone else in the team of Conservative council candidates would ever support.
“It is very disappointing to hear such comments from someone I know and it is a shame for him to end to his career in this way, but what he said was unacceptable.
“Moving forward, I can assure people on the Isle of Wight that Island Conservatives, led by me, are against this sort of intolerance”.