Out Conservative UK Politician, Boyfriend Threatened

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday April 12, 2021

Elliot Colburn, right and his boyfriend, Jed Dwight
Elliot Colburn, right and his boyfriend, Jed Dwight  (Source:Elliot Colburn/Twitter)

An out, conservative British lawmaker and his boyfriend received a death threat, but vows not to be dissuaded from doing his job, UK newspaper Daily Mail reports.

Elliot Colburn, 28, took to Twitter to share an image of an abusive, profanity-littered note, vowing, "I will not let threats to me or my family stop me standing up for" his constituents in the London area that he represents in Parliament.

Colburn is a Tory MP - Tories more or less the British equivalent of Republicans. Daily Mail noted that Colburn "is openly gay" and that his boyfriend, Jed Dwight, is also a politician who holds local office.

"Mr. Colburn became one of the country's youngest MPs when he won a seat in the 2019 general election, ousting stalwart Tom Brake who had held the seat for 22 years," Daily Mail recounted.

Fellow politicians and LGTBQ advocates voiced their support, Daily Mail reported, with the LGB Alliance responding to the tweet with: "So sorry you were targeted by this vile homophobic abuse. We have so much work to do to eradicate homophobia from society."

Fellow MP Jane Stevenson commented, "Disgraceful abuse, Elliot. I hope the police can track them down."

Another Tory MP, Conor Burns, offered a lighter take, writing, "'Dreadful. I get them occasionally. Always strikes me how much more work there is to do to teach punctuation in schools!"

Unlike America's Republicans, Tories in the UK have thrown their support behind equality efforts in recent years. In comments made for LGBTQ History month in 2019, Colburn said, "Being openly gay, I am proud to be representing a party that introduced same-sex marriage, and I support the government's efforts in introducing the LGBT Action Plan and reforming the Gender Recognition Act."

Equality advocates have, however, been critical lately of the government's handling of the Gender Recognition Act and worried that the Tories may be backsliding when it comes to protecting trans British people.

Colburn's tweet said that he had informed the police of the threat.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments on Facebook