A Brexit Party MEP has quit over another candidate’s homophobic comments, saying his personal values ‘are now in direct conflict with those of the party’.
The Scotland MEP Louis Stedman-Bryce announced on Twitter that he was leaving the party because of homophobic comments posted by former parliamentary candidate Victor Robert Farrell.
The Brexit Party has since withdrawn its support for Farrell. However, as the deadline for nominations has already passed, he is still on the ballot paper. Stedman-Bryce, who is gay, had also been a Brexit Party parliamentary candidate, for Glasglow North East, until last week.
He took the decision to no longer stand in the general election after Nigel Farage decided that 317 of his candidates would not fight in Tory-held seats.
Now, however, Stedman-Bryce has left the party altogether and will continue as an independent MEP who is, he said, just as committed to Brexit as before.
It saddens me to leave the @brexitparty_uk today.— Louis Stedman-Bryce (@Lstedmanbryce) November 19, 2019
I WILL NOT AND CANNOT compromise on my personal values, but I will continue to represent Scotland in the European Parliament. pic.twitter.com/hI2sFrLC0s
In a Twitter video, the MEP said that he had taken the decision to stand down as a PPC “with a heavy heart”.
He continued: “This week it saddens me further to say that I’ve taken the decision to leave the Brexit Party.
“This is because I find myself in a situation where my personal values are now in direct conflict with those of the party, and this for me is an area where I cannot and will not compromise.”
He also said: “The Brexit Party’s recent decision to select a Scottish candidate who has openly posted homophobic views across social media is not only a betrayal of the LGBT community but also a betrayal of everyone who believes that such divisive and hateful views have no place in our society.”
Farrell is an evangelical pastor who was chosen to fight the Glenrothes constituency for Farage’s party.
According to the Scotsman, one Facebook post in Farrell’s name dating from 2017 said: “Western nations look at your hands. Young lesbians in parliament, old lesbians leading political parties. Perverts pushing sodomite rights. The aged living in fear.”
A spokesperson for the Brexit Party told The New European:
“The Brexit Party cut ties with Victor Farrell almost as soon as his comments came to light.
“We are sad to see Louis Stedman-Bryce go and we will always oppose bigotry and fight for a proper Brexit.”