The Knitting Circle: Parliamentarians
Biography, writing, press cuttings.
Born 31st. March, 1957.
British Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party, 1992 -.
Full name: Alan James Carter Duncan
His father, J. G. Duncan OBE, was an RAF wing commander. His mother, Anne Duncan (née Carter), was a teacher.
He went to school at Merchant Taylor's School.
He studied at St John's College at Oxford University. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1979, and he was also president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. He was cox for his college first eight rowing team.
He worked for Shell International Petroleum from 1979 to 1981.
He was a Kennedy scholar at Harvard University from 1981 to 1982.
He became an oil trader, working with Marc Rich & Co from 1982 to 1988, including a period in Singapore from 1984 to 1986. Marc Rich was later prosecuted in the US for tax fraud. From 1988 Alan Duncan became a self-employed oil trader and consultant for the oil supply and refining industries. He acquired over £1m through taking advantage of the need to supply oil by tankers to Pakistan when Kuwait's supplies were curtailed by the Gulf war.
He was the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Barnsley West and Penistone in 1987. He became the MP for Rutland and Melton in Leicestershire in 1992.
Within two hours of Margaret Thatcher announcing her resignation in November 1990 Alan Duncan offered his home in Gayfere Street, Westminster, as the headquarters for John Major's campaign for the leadership.
His first government job was as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Health in December 1993. He resigned from the post in January 1994.
He was a member of the Select Committee on Social Security from 1993 to 1995.
In 1995 he set out his political views in the book Saturn's Children in which he called for a minimalist state where taxes were collected only for defence and health. He also made the case for legalising hard and soft drugs.
From 1995 to 1997 he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Brian Mawhinney who was then the Conservative Party chair. Alan Duncan was caught on camera making a citizen's arrest on a protester who threw a pot of paint at Brian Mawhinney.
From 1997 to 1998 Alan Duncan was the Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party.
In 1997 he was the Parliamentary Political Secretary to the MP William Hague (who was later to become the leader of the Conservative Party). For a while they shared a flat.
He was appointed as an opposition spokesman on health from 1998 to 1999, and on trade and industry from 1999 to 2001.
He was part of the team for Michael Portillo's campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party after William Hague resigned. When Michael Portillo dropped out of the race Alan Duncan was taken on by Iain Duncan Smith's campaign team.
He was appointed a shadow Foreign Affairs minister by Iain Duncan Smith in 2001.
Senior Conservative Party colleagues had been aware of Alan Duncan's sexuality for some time, and there has been speculation that he was held back from advancement within the Party because of it.
In 2000 a web page was published entitled "WHICH OF THESE TORY MPs ARE GAY HYPOCRITES?", and described itself as "NEWS RELEASE 4 - 22-09-00". It displayed the names and photographs of eight Conservative Party MPs including Alan Duncan. The web page continued:
"All these MPs advocate discrimination against homosexuals."
"We are fed up with the Tory Party being shamed by two-faced hypocritical MPs who are gay in private but anti gay in public."
"All eight Tory MPs named today support Section 28 and the ban on gay marriage."
However, in 2002 Alan Duncan seemed to come out publicly in his own way and in his own time. Without any trumpeting of the event he declared his sexuality in an interview article in The Times on Monday 29th. July, 2002. On that morning the later editions of the other UK national newspapers also mentioned the public revelation and it became the lead item on radio and television news bulletins.
He was first Conservative Party MP who had come out public as gay while in office through his own choice. Michael Brown had been outed by the newspapers without his consent in 1994. Michael Portillo was not an MP in 1999 when that he said that he had had "homosexual experiences" in his youth. Matthew Parris did not come out publicly as gay until after he had ceased to be a Conservative Party MP.
The political commentators noted that Alan Duncan's public declaration of his sexuality followed a few days after the leader of the Conservative Party (Iain Duncan Smith) had reshuffled his shadow cabinet and there had been some tension between traditionalists and the modernisers in the Party. Alan Duncan was seen as a moderniser who had supported the reduction of the age of consent for gay sex to 16, and had also talked of liberalising the drugs laws. Some political commentators saw the coming out as heralding a new phase in the Party.
Alan Duncan held his seat in the general election on 5th. May 2005 with a majority of 12930. He was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Transport by Michael Howard. Alan Duncan was seen as a possible contender for the leadership of the Conservative Party when Michael Howard announced that he would be standing down.
- An End to Illusions, 1993, published by Demos, ISBN 1898309051 (paperback).
- Saturn's Children: How the State Devours Liberty, Prosperity and Virtue with Dominic Hobson, 1995, published in London by Sinclair-Stevenson, 448 pages (hardback).
- 1998, updated edition, published by Politico's Publishing, 340 pages, ISBN 1902301048 (paperback).
- Synopsis: "This updated edition shows how a high taxing, high spending State devours individual liberty, expropriates private property, damages material prosperity, blights the prospects of the young, undermines the family and demoralises the weak and vulnerable."
- Senior Tory's gay revelation to test party by Tom Baldwin in The Times, 29th. July, 2002, page 1. "A leading Tory politician tests the limits of his party's newfound commitment to tolerance today by becoming the first Conservative MP openly to declare his homosexuality."
"Mr Duncan's declaration comes after a week in which Tory modernisers and traditionalists have been in open conflict, following the demotion of David Davis from his role as party chairman for blocking a more progressive agenda. The Shadow minister's decision to come out is likely to provoke a backlash from party traditionalists but Mr Duncan is hopeful that his action will help to bring his party closer in line with modern Britain."
- Are you trying to say something here, Alan? Are you gay? "Well, since you ask, the answer is of course yes. An absolutely honest, unequivocal and straightforward, yes". An interview article by Tom Baldwin in The Times, 29th. July, 2002, page 4. "Alan Duncan is gay. This will not come as a shock to people who know him or even those who have met him. Duncan is, as he puts it himself, 'very upfront' about it."
"While a number of Labour MPs and ministers have been openly gay for years, such declarations have remained taboo for Conservatives. Duncan points out that some have 'been caught'. Harvey Proctor, Alan Amos and Michael Brown suffered public exposure before losing or resigning their seats. Matthew Parris, the Times columnist, came out properly only when he was no longer a Tory MP, while Michael Portillo's homosexual experiences in his youth, which he confessed before regaining a seat in 1999, are thought to have damaged his leadership campaign last year."
"Had he always known he was gay? 'There was a period when I thought I had grown out of it.' What - you dated girls? 'Yeah, genuinely so. But it became apparent, basically.' He is not in a relationship at present, and says further inquiries of this nature are out of bounds."
- The Tories' lack of direction keeps them in the wilderness by Peter Riddell in The Times, 29th. July, 2002, page 16. "The modernisers are themselves to blame for indulging in too much worrying about identity and image. Michael Portillo's abortive campaign showed the limitations of over-emphasising personal self-discovery and lifestyle. Similarly, Alan Duncan's decision, in his interview today with my colleague Tom Baldwin, to talk publicly about his homosexuality is newsworthy primarily for what it says about attitudes in his party. Tolerance and diversity are necessary conditions for a Tory revival, but they are not sufficient."
- Standing out: The Tories should respect Alan Duncan's revelations An editorial comment in The Times, 29th. July, 2002, page 17. "It is true that only a relatively small minority of British citizens are gay. Yet as more gay people have decided to be open about their sexuality they have begun to erode prejudice and have opened the eyes of the majority about the number and type of people who are gay. A political party which is intolerant of homosexuals is out of touch with mainstream Britain."
- Alan Duncan comes out as first gay Tory MP by Paul Waugh in The Independent, 29th. July, 2002, page 2. "Mr Duncan's 'clear and unequivocal' statement will be a test of the modernising credentials of Iain Duncan Smith and underlines the determination of many in the party to prove it has changed. The Tory leader welcomed and supported Mr Duncan's decision, according to The Times."
- Top Tory admits he is gay in The Daily Telegraph, 29th. July, 2002. "A leading Tory has become his party's first serving MP to openly declare his homosexuality amid fresh feuding between the party factions."
- Dam of prejudice has burst says gay Tory by Melissa Kite in The Times, 30th. July, 2002, page 1. "A Tory MP's declaration of his homosexuality prompted an outpouring of tolerance from the Conservatives yesterday and was hailed as a turning point in the party's history. Alan Duncan's statement to The Times that he is gay led dozens of Tory MPs publicly to state their support for a more inclusive approach. The tide of admiration for Mr Duncan, the first sitting Tory MP to declare his homosexuality, was tempered, however, by criticism from right-wing Conservatives. Mr Duncan, who was deluged with more than 300 e-mails and 100 telephone calls of support, said: 'It feels like the dam of prejudice has burst.' Friends of Mr Duncan said that a quarter of the e-mails had been from Labour voters who wanted to congratulate him."
- Duncan's frankness unsettles Rutland by Oliver Wright in The Times, 30th. July, 2002, page 10. "When Alan Duncan returns to his constituency of Rutland and Melton he may reflect that he is not the first resident of the area to have helped to advance the acceptance of homosexuality in Britain. Surprisingly for an area that is both rural and conservative it was in Rutland that John Wolfenden, later Lord Wolfenden, who persuaded the Government to legalise homosexuality in Britain, lived and worked for more than ten years of his life."
"At the moment it is not known whether Mr Duncan will publicly raise the matter of his sexuality in the constituency. If he does, his case is unlikely to mirror that of another of Melton's gay sons, Graham Chapman, the Monty Python member, who went to Melton Mowbray Grammar School. Following a television interview in which Mr Chapman discussed his homosexuality, the Python team received a letter from a woman outraged that he had confessed to being homosexual. She enclosed several prayers for his salvation and a quotation from the Bible. Eric Idle wrote back stating simply that the rest of the team had 'taken him outside and killed him'. She did not write back."
- The love that now dares to speak its name in The Times, 30th. July, 2002, page 10. Quotations from ten senior Conservative Party members commenting on Alan Duncan's coming out, mostly positively. "I understand how difficult it must have been for you to have made such an open statement about your private life. What you have done is honest and will not affect you in any way politically in the future." - Iain Duncan Smith, the leader of the Conservative Party, in a letter to Alan Duncan.
- Not in front of the voters by Matthew Parris in The Times 2, 30th. July, 2002, pages 2-3. "With gay parliamentary colleagues in the Eighties, I used to make lists for our private amusement of fellow MPs who might be, probably were, possibly had been once, or certainly were now, gay. There were more than 30, including some serious and important figures. The list included Enoch Powell."
"In the Forties, Sir Paul Latham MP was caught writing an indiscreet letter to a man, and tried to kill himself by riding a motorcycle into a tree. In the Fifties, Captain Peter Baker MP hit the headlines and was destroyed. In 1958, one of Macmillan's ministers, Ian Harvey was found in St James's Park with a guardsman and fell in disgrace."
"In 1984 simply the allegation (he was acquitted) that Keith Hampson's hand had brushed the thigh of an undercover policeman at a gay club caused a storm for the MP, at a time when, up and down the land, the hands of a score or more of married middle-aged Tories were brushing the thighs of their constituency activists' pretty daughters under the county dining tables. Harvey Proctor, MP for Billericay, was set up by a Sunday newspaper in an elaborate sting involving a young man wired for sound. It destroyed his career. In 1994 David Ashby MP, a good man, was taken to pieces by the press and offered little help by his own party - over a bizarre dispute about a holiday with a male friend, and the question of whether a chambre double in France meant a twin or double-bedded room. His political career was crushed."
"I know without asking that what will have troubled Duncan was what most troubled me: the constituency. It is not your enemies there about whom you worry, but your supporters. You have not told them the whole truth about yourself. They have trusted you, worked for you - chosen you as their candidate - and seen a version of yourself that is critically incomplete. What will they think now? How will they feel about your failure to take them into their confidence?"
"I envy Duncan what he has done. I nearly did it 20 years ago, in a late-night speech to an empty Chamber, which left room for ambiguity. I wish I had left no room."
- 'The closet is no longer an option' by Penny Wark in The Times 2, 30th. July, 2002, pages 3-4. "For the first hour of our conversation Paul Gray insists that everything in the Tory party is lovely. When he stood in Preston in 1997 everyone was fantastic, and no, it's really not true that the party is full of bigots in the provinces, he maintains. I assume that as a gay man he took soundings within the party before he stood. Oh yes, he says. He spoke to several senior figures outside Westminster and to one MP who is gay, though not openly so. And their advice? 'They were uniformly cautious,' he replies. 'They said, don't make a big public statement, don't ask, don't tell'. Gray didn't and his sexuality never became an issue. But Preston is a safe Labour seat and he lost. As did David Gold when he stood in Brighton Pavilion last year."
"He, too had sounded out officials at national and local level, and a couple of MPs. One, he revealed yesterday, was Alan Duncan, who proposed him as candidate. 'He said, 'Be honest, don't lie, and who knows, if I'd been younger things might have been different'."
- Secrets and lies by Michael Gove in The Times 2, 30th. July, 2002, page 4. "Alan Duncan may
be the first Conservative MP openly to acknowledge his homosexuality, but political history is studded with the names of Tories who have stumbled, fallen or been dragged, often posthumously, out of the closet."
"There is a broad consensus that Sir Henry 'Chips' Channon, the great political diarist of the Thirties, and his kinsman Alan Lennox Boyd, the Colonial Secretary in the Fifties, both pursued homosexual affairs. But the farther one goes back in time, the more tentative the judgments. William Pitt is, probably, the only Tory premier to have been homosexual. A brilliant war leader who 'saved England by his exertions and Europe by his example' in the campaign against Napoleon, he was also a confirmed bachelor addicted to port and youthful companions who, according to one noble contemporary, 'used to go into brothels but was never known to touch a woman'. It has been suggested that his lover was George Canning, a junior minister and actress's son who went on, in turn, to become Prime Minister in the 1820s, but evidence is scanty."
"It has been suggested that the most famous Tory of the 19th century, Benjamin Disraeli, was homosexual. His oiled ringlets, the
flamboyance of his dress gaudy frockcoats, brocaded waistcoats and rings worn over kid gloves -as well as his taste for the company of older women and younger men has long led to speculation. Curiosity has focused, in particular, on his closeness to his private secretary Monty Corry in the years after his wife's death. But in Disraeli's case there may be more than just an element of the wish being father to the thought, both among historians wishing to lend the Victorian premier an extra air of exoticism and gay activists keen to 'reclaim' another historic figure."
- Don't come out, warns Tory grandee by Paul Waugh in The Independent, 30th. July, 2002, page 1. "Deep divisions in the Tory Party's attitudes to homosexuality were exposed yesterday when a leading activist criticised Alan Duncan for announcing he is gay. Jean Searle, a former president of the party's National Convention and - until earlier this year - the woman in charge of parliamentary candidate selection, said many elderly members of the party, especially in the North, would have preferred the Tory foreign affairs spokesman's private life to remain private. 'What concerns me is the Conservative Party is getting slightly North-South divided,' she said. 'South of the Watford Gap people accept homosexuality as a norm. I don't think the North of England has quite accepted it in the same way. What disturbs me is people feel they have to come out and say what they are. We don't come out and say we are normal and happily married with 2.4 children,' she told Radio 4's World at One."
- Duncan's revelation exposes troubled divisions in party by Paul Waugh in The Independent, 30th. July, 2002, page 4. "Theresa May, the party chairman, said Mr Duncan's move was evidence that the Conservatives were an 'open, decent and tolerant' party. But there were clear signs of unease among more traditional elements in the Tory ranks, with Ann Widdecombe, the former shadow home secretary, calling for MPs to spend more time attacking Labour."
"Kenneth Bool, chairman of Mr Duncan's Rutland and Melton Conservative Association, said: 'His honesty is not an act of confession, it is a refreshing act of initiative and typical of the man'."
"The businessman and former Tory Ivan Massow welcomed Mr Duncan's announcement. Mr Massow - who accused Tories of homophobia two years ago before walking out to join Labour - said it would be a 'big test' if Mr Duncan tried to reform the controversial Section 28."
- Right-winger with an eye for an opportunity by Paul Waugh in The Independent, 30th. July, 2002, page 4. "Describing himself as a Conservative 'ever since my balls dropped', Alan James Carter Duncan is one of the brightest, most provocative and libertarian of the Tory party's front bench."
- Tory tolerance An editorial comment in The Independent, 30th. July, 2002, page 12. "The most surprising aspect of the announcement, however, is that it has taken until now for a Conservative MP to come out willingly - and that it is headline news that one has done so. This is the real revelation in a supposedly modern society."
- Shock news: there are gay MPs in the Tory party by Michael Brown in The Independent, 30th. July, 2002, page 13. "This is just one big yawn of a story, and I am boring myself even writing about it."
- A Tory of his time or just a chancer? by Michael White in The Guardian, 30th. July, 2002, page 3. "If it was not a plot it was certainly convenient, reinforcing the Duncan Smith message about inclusivity and pushing the row over Mr Davis off the front pages."
"The mood is a far cry from the 1940s when Labour's Tom Driberg, a recklessly promiscuous gay MP, felt the pressure to marry, or the 50s when Tory Ian Harvey's career was ruined in a park with a guardsman. Labour's Chris Smith outed himself at a gay rights rally in Rugby in 1984. He went on to higher things. More recently gay Tory MPs, including Michael Brown and Matthew Parris, have been advised to shut up about their sexuality, though magnificently camp Norman St John Stevas, while a reforming cabinet minister, did not mind when the Guardian called him 'the thinking man's Larry Grayson'. Many older gays and lesbians in public life, politics included, take a more reticent view. Mr Duncan supports their right to do so. Nick Brown was outed, so was Peter Mandelson, several times. But the trend is to candour. Angela Eagle, Gordon Marsden, Ben Bradshaw, Michael Portillo retrospectively - as the list of volunteers grows longer, the public grows less interested. Alan Duncan believes he has done public life a favour."
- Profile: A weakness for frankness by Michael White in The Guardian, 30th. July, 2002, page 3. "He insists his declaration is not publicity-seeking. Matthew Parris, the former MP turned pundit who never quite came out agrees. The dapper politician, whom Parris once described as 'a bonsai Heseltine', probably got fed up with colleagues knowing he is gay and sniggering about it."
" 'People say I'm a schemer. I'm not. My problem is not scheming, it's frankness'."
- Meanwhile in Reigate the love that dare not speak its name remains unspeakable by Steven Morris in The Guardian, 30th. July, 2002, page 3. "The Conservative party's leadership may have been supportive of Alan Duncan but at grassroots level yesterday there was bewilderment and anger. In the true blue Surrey town of Reigate, for instance, many Tories had harsh words for Mr Duncan and said they would not be happy to have an openly gay MP represent them."
- So, Alan Duncan is out. Just like his vacuous party by Hugo Young in The Guardian, 30th. July, 2002, page 14. "Almost everything you need to know about the Tory party is encapsulated in the revelation that Alan Duncan is gay. A banal detail is elevated into first place in the news. A dreary social commonplace is treated by both the party and the media on a par with the discovery that the Pope has a secret wife. How much further behind the curve can an organisation get than feeling obliged to declare its 21st-century relevance by means of this amazing item? How devoid of content does a party have to be if the best way it can think of proving its openness, its revolutionary departure from type, is by showing its tolerance for Alan Duncan being gay?"
- Gay matters A letter to the editor from Angela Mason of Stonewall in The Guardian, 1st. August, 2002, page 17. "Hugo Young's analysis of the reaction of the Conservative party to Alan Duncan's decision to come out (Comment, July 30) makes the situation sound like an unfortunate incident in the playground."
"I believe Duncan's decision was important and a sign of change, but we still need to know the position of the Tories on the long overdue programme of gay law reform, including civil partnerships and the repeal of section 28."
- Honourable footnote: Alan Duncan and the Tories play catch-up An editorial comment in The Guardian, 30th. July, 2002, page 15. "Mr Duncan is by no means the first gay Tory MP, but he is certainly the first from his party to proclaim the fact openly. Homosexual and bisexual MPs of all parties in an earlier age, Tom Driberg or Chips Channon for example, survived scrutiny by making marriages of convenience - even happy ones - or by taking the precaution of visiting their constituencies, especially at election time, in female company. Others were able to rely on the inhibitions of a bygone era to maintain their privacy as what the press once called 'confirmed bachelors'. One or two, such as Bill Field and Ian Harvey in the 1950s were arrested and prosecuted. Over the last 20 years, however, it has become increasingly possible for MPs to come out and to survive electorally. Some still choose not to. MPs should be free to make the private choice that suits them."
- Tory attitudes on sexual preference Letters to the editor in The Times, 31st. July, 2002, page 19.
- From Rebecca Baty: "The 'coming out' of a senior MP (reports and leading article, July 30) is further proof of my experience that, with the exception of a few loud-mouthed individuals, the Tory party has always been accepting to people of all sexual preference. I have been a member for some 15 years or so and, as a transsexual and lesbian, have never found a problem with people in the individual associations of which I have been a member."
- From Paul Gross: "The Tories are clearly working on alternatives to Labour's essentially social democratic economic policy but they cannot hope to achieve electoral success until they throw off the legacy of Enoch Powell and Norman Tebbit with regard to social policy."
- From Philip Levy: "The crunch time for tolerance in this country will be when gays and lesbians can openly admit they are Conservatives."
- Time to drop this puerile ceremony of 'coming out' Letters to the editor in The Independent, 31st. July, 2002, page 15.
- From Ian Flintoff: "Alan Duncan's sex life is none of my business. This ceremonial 'coming out' is a patronising and degrading practice inflicted by a prurient society on homosexuals, many of whom have more integrity, talent, and dignity than the publicity conscious individuals who wallow in the practice."
- From Barbara Stafford: "What a strange society it is that requires people such as Alan Duncan to declare, disclose, admit, acknowledge, confess, make statement or 'come out' about their homosexuality as though they were pleading guilty to tax-evasion, theft, drug-trafficking or some other crime."
- From Matthew Edward Brown: "Mr Duncan deserves our support and applause for a courageous and noble decision. He has chosen to be honest with his electorate in a move that is typical of the honest and hardworking MP that he has been over the past decade."
- Coming out fighting: the Tories look electable in pink by Ed Vaizey in The Sunday Times, 4th. August, 2002, page 6. "Alan Duncan catapulted out of the closet this week to the sort of applause the Tories normally reserve for a party conference darling. Indeed, far from facing deselection or a chorus of criticism, as many of his Tory forebears would have done, Duncan's confession is prominently displayed on the news page of the party's website."
"Between 1997 and 2001, according to ID Research, the Liberal Democrats' share of the gay vote at the general election jumped from 16% to 26% - as a result of Charles Kennedy giving an interview to Gay Times and launching a gay manifesto at a bar in Soho. By contrast, the Tories' share of the gay vote at both elections was in single figures. It doesn't have to be that way. In America the gay lobby is powerful and acknowledged. The Log Cabin Republicans (the party's gay caucus) raises millions of dollars for Republican candidates and has 10,000 members."
- Brief encounters (or gay Tories I have known) by Alan Watkins in The Independent on Sunday, 4th. August, 2002, page 23. "The Conservative Party has always been remarkably tolerant of homosexuality. The case of Ian Harvey, who had to resign from a junior Foreign Office post in 1958 after committing an 'indecent act' with a guardsman in St James's Park, was cited time and again last week as an illustration of the supposedly bad old days."
"The same fate would have befallen him today, as it did Mr Ron ('Moment of madness') Davies after his adventures on Clapham Common. But others prospered. Alan Lennox-Boyd was a homosexual who became Colonial Secretary. There was a whole string of baronets, knights and misters who were either junior ministers or leading backbenchers. One of the most colourful members of Margaret Thatcher's first Cabinet, who regularly claimed to be chaste but not celibate, contributed equally to the gaiety of nations and to the public life of this country. With someone else, her Parliamentary Private Secretary at the time of her fall, Mrs Thatcher was taking an enormous risk. This was Peter Morrison. He would sometimes be moved on from public lavatories by the police."
- Gay is groovy, sensitive, oh-so chic. And just a teensy bit homosexual by Mark Simpson in The Independent on Sunday, 4th. August, 2002, page 20. "Gayness has become shorthand for a certain grooviness, sensitivity, tolerance, individuality and, most importantly, a promiscuous preoccupation with lifestyle and soft furnishings. It represents a very modern effacement of the boundaries between public and private, inside and outside (after all, homosexual men allow themselves to be penetrated). Advertising has been hitting us over the head with this big, stuffed, pink satin cliché since the mid-nineties."
"The Tories were the original lifestyle party, with their championing of individualism and liberal capitalism under Maggie in the Eighties. Libertarians such as Duncan must long to conduct an IKEA-style 'chuck out your chintz' campaign and dump Ann Widdecombe in a skip outside Central Office. The party's belated coming out probably signals that the use of gaying as a strategy has gone as far as it can. Aside from the Church and the Windsors, there are not many institutions left to modernise."
- Duncan urges Tories to end gay taboo by Patrick Wintour in The Guardian, 5th. August, 2002, page 7. "Alan Duncan, the shadow foreign affairs minister, yesterday urged his party to end its taboo about homosexuality, but declined to tell his party to support the repeal of section 28 if the issue is raised in parliament again this year. The Conservatives are reviewing their stance on the largely symbolic piece of legislation."
"He accused those in the party who opposed his admission as using 'code language' to express their distaste for homosexuality, and some used a 'subliminal sneer'. Out of 500 emails and 200 letters received by Mr Duncan since his announcement, only about 12 had been critical."
- Leadership contenders in The Independent, 7th. May, 2005, page 11. "Mr Duncan, 48, the only openly gay front-bencher, is seeking to become the candidate to unite the centre-left to widen the Tory appeal. A moderniser prepared to take a stand against the traditional Tory position on Section 28."
- Tory talent contest gives youth a shot at leadership by Philip Webster and David Charter in The Times, 11th. May, 2005, pages 1 and 4. "Alan Duncan, an ultra-moderniser and likely contender, was made Shadow Transport Secretary."
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First uploaded 4th. August, 2002.
Last altered 15th. May, 2005.