The shadow home secretary has back-pedalled on his claims that B&B owners should be allowed to turn away gay couples. He was conspicuously absent from PMQs on Wednesday, as a survey of gay people found their support for the Tories dwindling.
Grayling may yet make it into a Tory cabinet. Rumours of his imminent demise are already circulating, however.
Here is a transcript of the interview – the quote is very similar to what he was saying back on Sunday.
Let’s be clear, I have always supported gay rights. I voted for this particular measure. I voted for civil partnerships. There are difficult and sensitive issues when MPs consider issues like this. We have to listen to strong arguments on both sides. I gave full consideration to all of those issues. When it actually came to the vote, I voted with my conscience.”
I am certainly sorry if what I said gave the wrong impression. I certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone, but let’s be clear, I have voted for gay rights, I voted for this particular measure.
Grayling’s team are furious that Alan Johnson has called him a “homophobe” (on BBC Gloucestershire, apparently), given his record in supporting pro-homosexual legislation in the Commons.