Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Labour leader Starmer criticised by his own party for visit to church with homophobic links

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been criticised by members of his own party for visiting a church that has homophobic links.

LGBT+ Labour said the visit to Jesus House in north London was “unacceptable”.

Sources confirmed that the leader of the opposition‘s office had offered an “unreserved apology” to the group.

Sir Keir Starmer visits Jesus House
Image: Sir Keir was filmed speaking with members of the church and touring a food bank

Jesus House is led by Agu Iruku, a pastor who has previously written about his opposition to equality legislation and gay marriage.

In 2006 he was part of a group who wrote to The Daily Telegraph saying the Bible did not support the idea that homosexuality was equal to heterosexuality.

Sir Keir visited the church on Good Friday and was filmed speaking with members and touring a food bank.

He later posted a video in which he said Jesus House was a “wonderful example of a church serving their community by coming together with health professionals in the fight against the virus“.

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Labour sources said that the purpose of the visit was to look at a pop-up vaccination centre at the church.

Boris Johnson also visited the church last month, however a video posted by the prime minister on social media was mainly focused on the vaccination centre.

Mr Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May was criticised after meeting Pastor Iruku in 2017.

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A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party is unwavering in its support for the LGBT+ community.”

LGBT+ Labour tweeted that it will be “urgently meeting with [the leader’s office] next week to ensure this does not happen again and that LGBT+ equality is embedded in everything that UK Labour does”.

Sky News has approached Jesus House for comment.