London, , United Kingdom
|| May 17, 1951
Aug 03, 2019 02:32pm
English - Single - Anglican - Bisexual -
|Info||Simon Hughes won the seat of Southwark for the Liberal Party in a notoriously bitter 1983 by-election, against Labour's Peter Tatchell. Hughes has since publically apologised (in 2006) for his role in what is generally acknowledged to have been the most homophobic campaign in British electoral history. |
He has held the seat ever since, winning for the sixth time in 2001 with a 26% majority.
His continued success in what was seen as a natural Labour heartland is partly due to his very high profile.
Mr Hughes has gained even more media attention since becoming the party's home affairs spokesman in 1999, having come second to Charles Kennedy in the Liberal Democrat leadership election on a platform of greater autonomy from Labour.
He uses his current position to articulate the same liberal views he has consistently held on such issues as penal and asylum policy.
Mr Hughes is also a dedicated environmentalist and anti-nuclear campaigner, as well as being an opponent of both abortion and euthanasia.
He is well known around Parliament for the bright yellow London taxi he drives and for his frequent speeches.
In 1999, he was placed under police protection after receiving death threats following his role in convincing witnesses in a murder case to give testimony.
In 2006 he admitted in an interview with the Sun that he had had homosexual relationships and that it had been a mistake to have been "defensive" on the issue (Hughes had repeatedly denied being homosexual, most recently in an interview with the Independent).
Trevor Kavanagh, associate editor of The Sun, said that Hughes had decided to speak about his sexuality after being confronted with "pretty incontrovertible" evidence that he had phoned a gay chat line.