Alan Duncan MP
Theoretically, could the UK’s next Prime Minister be gay?
There would definitely be obstacles for a gay person to overcome if they wanted to get elected, just as there would be obstacles for a black person or a woman.
The problem is that people tend to vote for the married male with two children but everyone is starting to realise that you don’t need to be like that anymore. I don’t think that there are any serious hurdles; we could certainly have a gay PM in my lifetime.
It’s like the Conservative party. A while back, being gay would stop you progressing a certain distance. Now, homosexuality is not a barrier to anything in the Tory party.
Gay people work and succeed in all the main political organisations - central office is full of them. I’ve always said that if you take gay people out of the world then the church, the BBC and politics would grind to a halt.
To be honest I don’t think that being gay is a barrier to anything anymore.
If you look at the legislation passed in the last ten years, then it’s clear we are almost equal in this country. Section 28 is gone, the age of consent is equalised at 16, I helped steer the Civil Partnership Bill through the commons so that has gone through. There’s not much left to be done, which is good.
The best thing that could ever happen about gay things is that they don’t figure in politics at all because they stop being an issue.
Alan Duncan caused a political revolution in 2002 when he became the first ever senior Conservative politician to come out whilst in office.
Having a gay MP at the heart of the party helped the Conservative Party adopt a more tolerant and inclusive attitude towards homosexuality. Duncan has held numerous ministerial positions, both in and out of Government, for the past 15 years. He is the Member of Parliament for Rutland & Melton. He is also a Minister of State in the Department for International Development.
In 2008 he and his partner James Dunseath, pictured with Alan at the top of this page, entered into a civil partnership making him the first member of either the Cabinet or the Shadow Cabinet to do so.
Alan appears in our inspirational Aim High booklet, along with 19 other people at the top of their respective fields, showing sexuality should not get in the way of success.