Ed M slams bishop comments
Ed Miliband has hit out at a Scottish cleric, urging him to withdraw remarks he made about the death of Labour MP David Cairns.
The Labour leader said comments from the Archbishop-elect of Glasgow suggesting Mr Cairns’ death was linked to his sexuality were “wrong”.
Mr Miliband’s comments come after the Scottish government confirmed plans to allow same-sex couples to marry, despite opposition from religious groups and splits within the government.
Speaking at a conference at Oxford University in April, Philip Tartaglia, Bishop of Paisley since 2005, said: “Recently in Scotland there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so, and nobody said anything, and why his body should just shut down at that age?
"Obviously he could have had a disease that would have killed anybody. But you seem to hear so many stories about this kind of thing, but society won’t address it.”
But Mr Miliband said: "He's wrong. It's obviously caused hurt to the friends and family of David. David Cairns was a fantastic man, a remarkable MP and a remarkable person. The Archbishop Elect has expressed some regret and I think it is right that he does that. He will recognise that his comments were wrong."
Yvette Cooper also slammed the comments, describing them as “deeply wrong, shocking and distressing”.
Labour MP Tom Harris, a close friend of Mr Cairns, has written to the the Archbishop-elect asking him to reconsider his "hurtful, ill-informed" remarks.
Mr Cairns’s partner, Dermot Kehoe, who was in a relationship with the late MP for almost 15 years, said: “This is genuinely very upsetting and painful for David’s family and friends. I can’t believe that someone who claims to be a man of God and is seeking to give moral leadership should speak from such a position of ignorance."