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34 years ago there was also a shock by election result – after homophobic Liberal campaign

34 years ago there was also a shock by election result – after homophobic Liberal campaign 

The shock result in Copeland comes 34 years to the day since the infamous Bermondsey by-election which propelled Simon Hughes into Parliament on the back of what has been condemned as the most homophobic and vicious election campaign ever witnessed in the UK.

The 24th February 1983 by election was triggered by the resignation after 36 years of Labour’s Bob Mellish. Peter Tatchell was selected for Labour and the local party championed tackling homophobia and racism. The ‘Liberal’ campaign immediately focused on Tatchell’s sexuality – leading to attacks on him and threats to his home. He even received a live cartridge through his letterbox at home.

Leaflets proclaiming Simon Hughes to be the ‘straight choice’ were distributed by so-called Liberals. No one should forget this, the most appalling election campaign ever seen in British politics. 

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