A TORY candidate for the National Assembly was forced to stand down last night after posting homophobic and racist comments on an internet chatroom.
John Jenkins, 22, pictured right, who was due to stand in Llanelli, was sacked after The Western Mail sent details of his postings on the intouchforums.com chatroom to Welsh Conservative Assembly leader Nick Bourne yesterday. Among the comments was an onslaught on homosexuals.
Mr Jenkins wrote, "I hold my hands up and admit to being `homophobic' if you must label me. I cannot convince myself of anything other than homosexuality being a medical mental condition. I would not harm an individual for being gay but just think that they need medical attention rather than their `fashionable' display of sexual deviancy being pandered to.
"As for adoption, deciding to re-main `gay' is a personal choice. No child deserves to be brought into this world with two mummies or two daddies. You need a male and a female to reproduce and, like marriage, the state should not legitimise gay adoption.
"[I] Don't think there should be gays in the armed forces either. I am not informed on this subject but if those in charge of the armed forces think this policy would be detrimental to our armed forces then that is good enough for me."
Mr Jenkins, who read social policy at University of Wales, Swansea, wrote, "I would like to see Britain take a stronger line on "nor-malising" incomers. Should stress what is the British culture through education and would like to see the maintenance of the British national identity (and the English/Scottish/ Welsh cultures which are the building blocks of British identity) be given a higher priority than the individual human rights of members of ethnic minorities."
On international relations, he wrote, "I deplore the way Britain subscribes to every damn `human rights' act so strictly."
Mr Jenkins' postings shocked other users of the chatroom, including Andy Fox, the co-ordinator of Conservative Future (formerly the Young Conservatives) in Wales, who posted a message saying, "John, for the love of God, man! You're a candidate in the Welsh Assembly elections and you're posting stuff like this on a public forum?! The media would crucify you if they got hold of this. Edit it at once."
Llanelli-born Liberal Democrat AM Kirsty Williams, whose party researchers discovered the postings, said, "It is extremely worrying that someone with these views could be selected as a candidate by a mainstream political party."
And Llanelli's Plaid Cymru AM Helen Mary Jones said, "Anyone who holds these views, let alone expresses them publicly, is not fit for public office in Wales."
A source close to Nick Bourne said, "The insulting and highly dangerous comments made by John Jenkins have infuriated Nick Bourne and do not, in any way, shape or form, coincide with his or the party's beliefs. John Jenkins has been very stupid to even contemplate posting these repugnant remarks on the internet.
"The party is totally grateful to The Western Mail for bringing this issue to our attention and John's position as an Assembly candidate now looks untenable. Bigotry has no place in the Welsh Conservative Party."
Mr Jenkins admitted he had been "foolish and irresponsible". He said, "I did it to get a debate on-going. I now fully realise that such remarks are totally unacceptable and on reflection do not in any way portray my true views. I apologise unreservedly for any embarrassment caused to the Welsh Conservative Party or to anyone who may have read such comments. I am truly sorry."
Last night a Welsh Conservative spokesman said, "Mr. Jenkins' remarks are not the views of the Conservative Party and are totally unacceptable. His resignation has been offered to the Director of the Welsh Conservative Party and duly accepted. The forum on which these views were posted is not an official Conservative website. Arrangements are now being made to select a new candidate for Llanelli."
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