Church minister who heckled Corbyn posted homophobic tweets

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A Church of Scotland minister who branded Jeremy Corbyn a “terrorist sympathiser” has been criticised after he was found to have posted a series of homophobic tweets.

As the Labour leader was entering the Heart of Scotstoun community centre in Glasgow on Wednesday, he stopped to tell reporters about a scarf he was wearing, which had been given to him by representatives of the Who Cares Scotland charity.

But he was interrupted by Richard Cameron, the minister at Scotstoun Parish Church, who shouted: “I thought you’d be wearing your Islamic jihad scarf.”

He added: “Who’s going to be the first terrorist invited to the House of Commons when you’re prime minister?”

After footage of the encounter attracted attention online, Labour pointed to a series of controversial past tweets from Mr Cameron, who posted that “homosexual behaviour is a sin” and “allowing children to change their gender is wicked”.

In September he tweeted: “Christ has the power to help and change anyone. Obviously many gays hate this because want to carry on in their perversion.”

He also shared a series of controversial views on Islam, describing terrorism as “a problem Islam needs to deal with”, a full face veil as “oppressive and unBritish” and the prophet Muhammad as “a violent man”.

PA has checked the account and verified that it belongs to Mr Cameron.

Green MSP Ross Greer, a member of the Church of Scotland, tweeted: “Bigoted nonsense directed at Corbyn today doesnt represent the @churchscotland. The bigoted tweets surfacing certainly don’t.

“Do I wish the Kirk were robust in rejecting fringe figures like this guy? Yes. We must do so much better to say this isn’t who we are & isn’t acceptable.”

A Church of Scotland spokeswoman said: “There has been significant concern raised today about the comments made by Rev Richard Cameron and his social media use.

Jeremy Corbyn
Mr Corbyn took his election campaign to Glasgow on Wednesday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“We do deplore any comments which are Islamophobic or homophobic. The Church of Scotland works closely with our Islamic neighbours and the General Assembly has taken a strong position and said formally that we decry homophobia in any form.”

Mr Cameron had also said to Mr Corbyn: “Do you think that the man who is going to be prime minister of this country should be a terrorist sympathiser, Mr Corbyn?”

The Labour leader did not react to Mr Cameron and was ushered into the community centre by Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard.

Mr Cameron then accused Mr Corbyn of “running away”.

The Church of Scotland rebuked Mr Cameron for the way he approached the situation, saying: “Whilst we may occasionally robustly challenge policy issues with which we disagree, we always intend to do that in a way that is polite and measured and allows for reasoned debate.”

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