Conservative London mayoral hopeful Ivan Massow says he believes that gay men tend to be Tory-leaning in their political beliefs without even realising.
Speaking to Paris Lees in the digital edition of the latest issue of Attitude, the businessman-turned-politician - who is seeking to become the Conservative party's candidacy to become Mayor of London at the 2016 election - says that gay men have historically been "obliged" to "stand on the left and throw rocks at the right."
Asked whether he faced criticism from the gay community for being a prominent Conservative supporter during the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher's premiership, the 57-year-old mayoral hopeful replies:
"Look, I don’t want to bring out a violin, but the lack of support from the gay community at that time, because I attended a conference with Margaret Thatcher for example, really brought me down, because I couldn’t tell people what I was trying to achieve. And I had a very specific objective. Because I saw the politics of sexuality at the time being very much a case of them and us.
"So we were expected to join the left side, even though we might be quite entrepreneurial and want to own our own houses and believe in small government, and all the things I personally – and especially gay men – tend to be.
"Gay males don’t realise it, but when you start to dissemble, and ask them the questions that are multiple choice, they’re Tory. But you were obliged to stand on the left and throw rocks at the right. Almost as if they enjoyed it. It was like a class hatred thing and I didn’t see that as being productive.
The former financial services entrepreneur - who said last year that gay men needed to "grow up" when it came to drug use - adds that he always hoped to change Conservative party policy from within the party itself:
"My goal was to infiltrate my party, the party I naturally felt I belonged to economically, and make it move it move to a position of acceptability," he says.
"Because I wanted a United Kingdon full of people who didn’t have homophobia, I couldn’t see the point of keeping the war going, and I felt that the other path, although valuable in raising the issues, needed a little bit more fixing, needed someone’s work on the other side."
You can read Paris's interview with Ivan exclusively in the digital edition of Attitude – the Naked Issue – which is available to download to your mobile, iPad or tablet device now, at Pocketmags.com/Attitude. Over 30 guys – including Blue hunk Duncan James, Eastenders’ Davood Ghadami and Apprentice stars James Hill and Sanjay Sood-Smith – have stripped off over almost 100 pages as part of our #getnakedbesafe safe sex campaign, and you can take a peek at what they’ve got in store for you with our exclusive teaser video. We also speak to Newsnight and Dragon’s Den host Evan Davis in his first ever gay press interview, where he discusses the state of British politics ahead of May’s general election and being one of the most prominent gay men on TV. The physical issue is in stores now you can also have it delivered directly to your door at newsstand.co.uk.