Should people in the public eye be open about their sexuality or is their private life private?

THE media spotlight has fallen on Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans this week after he “came out” as being gay.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2010, 1:33 pm

He says he hopes he will be an inspiration to young people who are struggling with their own sexuality.

The well-liked Tory MP and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons decided to come out about his sexuality as he was fed-up with “living life as a lie”. He hopes his declaration will help others be open in their sexual orientation.

Mr Evans (53) said he had been threatened with exposure by former Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. “The MPs were saying ‘Why is it that Nigel Evans leads a life whereby he is gay to some people and not others’?,” he said.

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It is dirty politics and I could not afford for it to be used as leverage against me. I don’t want any other MP to face that kind of threat again.”

Prime Minister David Cameron and Mr Evans’s constituency party have both pledged their full support to the MP, whose homosexuality has been an “open secret” at Westminster and locally for years.