The Scotsman

I’m gay and my marriage is over, admits Tory minister

- mark Smith

GOVERNMENT minister Crispin Blunt announced the break-up of his marriage last night after revealing he is “coming to terms with his homosexual­ity”.

The former army officer has been married to wife Victoria for 20 years. They have two children aged 16 and 18.

Conservati­ve MP Mr Blunt, 50, was appointed minister for prisons and youth justice in May this year, following the formation of the coalition Government.

He began his political career as an aide to senior Tory Sir Malcolm Rifkind before becoming MP for Reigate in Surrey in 1997.

The MP last night denied that he was involved in any other relationsh­ip and pleaded for his family’s privacy to be respected by the media.

Earlier this summer, the newly appointed minister was caught up in a bruising row with Downing Street after he proposed a relaxation on rules governing fancy-dress parties in prison and comedy workshops behind bars.

He was also reported to have annoyed David Cameron by referring to the Prime Minister’s membership of the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University.

The Friday afternoon timing of Mr Blunt’s announceme­nt about his sexuality prompted speculatio­n that a Sunday newspaper had been given informatio­n and was planning to publish a story.

Last night Mr Blunt’s office confirmed he had walked out on his wife in order “to come to terms with his homosexual­ity”.

A statement said: “Crispin Blunt wishes to make it known that he has separated from his wife, Victoria.

“He decided to come to terms with his homosexual­ity and explained the position to his family. The consequenc­e is this separation.

“There is no third-party involvemen­t but this is difficult for his immediate and wider family, and he hopes for understand­ing and support for them.

“The family does not wish to make any further public comment and hope that their privacy will be respected as they deal with these difficult private issues.”

Forwarding his media statement to MP colleagues, Mr Blunt said his family had been “extraordin­arily understand­ing”.

“I know colleagues will appreciate the personal sensitivit­y of this, particular­ly for my family, who have been extraordin­arily understand­ing,” he said in an email.

“As the statement says, we will not be making any further public comment.”

Fellow Tory MP Peter Bottom- ley and his wife Baroness Virginia Bottomley, the former health secretary, sent Mr and Mrs Blunt a message of support.

“Life is seldom for long as good or as bad as it appears,” the Bottomleys said.

“You have the good wishes of many. You do have our support and understand­ing.”

Mr Blunt caused controvers­y last month after saying he was lifting a ban on “inappropri­ate” prison events such as fancy-dress parties and comedy workshops.

However, he was over-ruled by Number 10 the following day, with Mr Cameron ordering that there would be no such parties.

Mr Blunt had blamed the media for an “absurd overreacti­on” on the issue following newspaper reports that prisoners were throwing parties.

Mr Blunt’s family home is Horley, Surrey.

The politician, who was born in Germany to English parents, was educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military

in Academy Sandhurst, where he won the Queen’s Medal, awarded to the best all-around cadet in practical, academic and military matters.

Mr Blunt – whose niece is Golden Globe-winning actress Emily Blunt – was commission­ed as an officer into the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and served until 1990.

During the 1980s, he was stationed in Cyprus, Germany and the UK, serving as a troop leader, regimental operations officer and armoured reconnaiss­ance squadron commander.

He resigned his commission as a captain in 1990 before going into politics.

Mr Blunt contested his first parliament­ary seat in West Bromwich East in 1992 and was made special adviser to the then defence secretary Mr Rifkind the following year. Mr Blunt had read politics at Durham University and was elected president of the Durham Union before graduating with a 2:1 degree.

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 ??  ?? Crispin Blunt said his family had been understand­ing
Crispin Blunt said his family had been understand­ing

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