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MP Annette Brooke: 'I'm not behind anti-gay marriage leaflet'
LIB Dem MP Annette Brooke has spoken of her “great distress” following the circulation of a leaflet opposing gay marriage on the eve of Parliament’s landmark vote.
This leaflet, distributed throughout Mrs Brooke’s constituency by the Coalition for Marriage, features her picture and the headline ‘Mid Dorset and North Poole for Marriage’.
Some angry residents, who wrongly believed she was behind the flyer, have contacted Mrs Brooke to vent their spleen.
But the Mid Dorset and North Poole MP had no prior knowledge of the pamphlet, which she condems for causing “great pain to gay people.”
The leaflet urged constituents opposed to gay marriage to lobby their MPs ahead of tonight's free vote in the House of Commons. It warned of “serious consequences” for society if David Cameron’s same sex couples bill becomes law.
But she stressed: “Many constituents have mistakenly believed the leaflet was from me and this has distressed me greatly.
“I believe the mistake has occurred because of the design of the leaflet and the fact that my photograph has been used without my permission.”
One disgruntled constituent posted the leaflet back to her constituency office with the words “please spend your time making sure rubbish such as this does not come through my door again. Disgusting.”
Another contacted Mrs Brooke accusing her of “stirring-up ill feeling.”
Mrs Brooke, who issued a statement of clarification on her website, said: “Many of the points on the leaflets have been deeply offensive to some people who do not share the views expressed within it, and it has caused great pain to gay people.
“It has also generated some homophobic responses. I disagree with many of the statements on the leaflet.”
Meanwhile, a Coalition for Marriage spokesman told the Echo: “It is standard practice during campaigns to hand out flyers and leaflets. This is an important issue for people to be talking about.
“Nowhere in the leaflet does it state the MP’s view on this matter, it simply urges the constituent to contact their MP.
“Regarding the photograph, this is in the public domain and MPs are public figures.”
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