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Labour leader Keir Starmer apologises for visiting anti-LGBTQ church

"I completely disagree with Jesus House’s beliefs on LGBT+ rights, which I was not aware of before my visit"

2021-04-06

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Wiki

Labour leader Keir Starmer has apologised after visiting an anti-LGBTQ church on Good Friday.

The politician also shared a social media video of his visit to Jesus House in London before removing the clip, claiming he wasn't aware of the church's stance on homosexuality

Agu Irukwu, the senior pastor of the All The Nations church in Brent, north London, has previously spoken out against same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ equality laws.

"I apologise for the hurt my visit caused"

In a statement on Twitter last night, Starmer said: "I completely disagree with Jesus House’s beliefs on LGBT+ rights, which I was not aware of before my visit. I apologise for the hurt my visit caused and have taken down the video.

"It was a mistake and I accept that."

The LGBT+ Labour group were among those to call out Starmer's actions, with a rep saying on Twitter: "The visit was unacceptable and we made this clear to [the leader of the opposition].

"We received an unreserved apology, and will be urgently meeting with them next week to ensure this does not happen again and that LGBT+ equality is embedded in everything that @UKLabour does."

Following Starmer's public apology, an LGBT+ Labour rep said: "Thank you @KeirStarmer. We are pleased that you have recognised and apologised for this mistake.

"We look forward to working with you to end conversion therapy and achieve equality for LGBT+ people."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Prince of Wales have also visited the church - currently serving as a coronavirus vaccination centre - in recent weeks without backlash.

However, Johnson was criticised for visiting while Mayor of London in 2009, as was Theresa May, who visited while PM in 2017.

Starmer succeeded Jeremy Corbyn as Labour's leader in April 2020.