Tory Chairman Meets City Gay Groups For Talk On Adoption

Tory Party chairman Francis Maude has held talks with two gay organisations in Edinburgh during a visit north of the Border. Leaders of Stonewall Scotland briefed him on reforms to adoption laws here which will allow same-sex couples to adopt jointly. And later he met staff and lesbian and gay activists at LGBT Scotland. Mr Maude’s brother Charles died of Aids in 1993. And earlier this year the politician criticised the homophobic attitude of the Thatcher government.

He said: “I’m passionate about the equality agenda. We work very closely with Stonewall in London and as Conservatives in Scotland we want to have the same relationship.”

Mr Maude’s visit to Edinburgh coincided with Tory leader David Cameron’s trip to Glasgow to speak at a large fundraising dinner for the party. Mr Maude, who served as a minister under Margaret Thatcher’s government, admitted the Tories still had “a long way to go” in Scotland.

But he insisted: “The answer is we don’t give up, we intensify our efforts and keep at it.” And he said Mr Cameron would be making regular visits to Scotland ahead of next year’s Holyrood elections.

Mr Maude admitted the Tories had lost votes in Scotland because of Mrs Thatcher’s policies. But he said people were now moving on, claiming: “The sense that has been a huge problem for us is receding. I don’t think we should be too hung up about that. There were issues, we paid a hell of a penalty for it in electoral terms, but that was then and this is now.”