Health secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of hypocrisy after tweeting about LGBT inclusivity hours after defending the rumoured hiring by government of a homophobic politician.
On Thursday Hancock appeared to dismiss concerns about former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s misogyny and homophobia ‘because he’s an expert in trade’.
Abbott has previously said that he feels ‘a bit threatened’ by homosexuality, opposed same-sex marriage, and was accused of misogyny by fellow former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard.
Hancock, in a television interview, said Abbott has a ‘huge amount of experience’ despite his comments.
‘As far as I understand it, the proposal is that Mr Abbott supports the UK on trade policy, which is an area which he has got a huge area of expertise.
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‘I bow to nobody in my support for everybody to love who they love, whoever that is.’
Now Labour MPs Chris Bryant and Wes Streeting, who are both gay, accused the health secretary of hypocrisy after he tweeted about the ‘fantastic’ new LGBT-inclusive relationships and sex education introduced in schools.
He wrote: ‘One of my proudest moments in Parliament was voting for same-sex marriage & I’m pleased that we’ve made this much-needed reform to our education system.’
Bryant responded: ‘So why on earth would you countenance Tony Abbott as a trade envoy?’
Streeting tweeted: ‘Matt, We know you’re a social liberal with a decent voting record on LGBT equality. That’s why your defence of Tony Abbott was even more nauseating.
‘Sharing Stonewall links and bleating on about a vote from years ago doesn’t cut it. Kay Burley found you out.’
Other Twitter users were also equally unimpressed.
‘Funny that you’re only tweeting this AFTER showing that you support a known misogynist and homophobe, and overlooking these issues, just because he’s ‘good at trading’,’ wrote @leashlore.
‘You just f**king stood, yesterday, and supported an out an out homophobe whilst wearing an NHS pride badge. Please don’t insult us,’ said @chris83pres.