UK: Jim Wells resigns as Northern Ireland health minister over 'anti-gay' remarks

Jim Wells stepped down after the police received a complaint about comments he is said to have made to a gay couple while out canvassing in the general election. Wells was already under fire for appearing to link gay relationships to child abuse during an election debate. His resignation highlights one of the major problems that Ed Miliband or David Cameron face if they chose to form a minority government backed by Democratic Unionist Party.

It also exposes the deep strain of evangelical Christian hostility towards gay people from within the DUP, drawing accusations from the likes of the Liberal Democrats that it is not fit to determine the shape of the next government. Nick Clegg said Wells’ comments showed that the DUP “mask had slipped”.

Wells last week caused a furore when he said: “You don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That a child is far more likely to be abused and neglected,” before he was shouted down by members of the audience. Read More