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Police quiz people who made Jim Wells anti-gay remarks tape

By Noel McAdam

Published 16/07/2015

Jim Wells resigned as Health Minister in wake of row
Jim Wells resigned as Health Minister in wake of row

Police have interviewed the people who made a tape of Jim Wells' anti-gay remarks which led to his resignation as Health Minister, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

Detectives have spoken to Mr Wells and a number of people who attended the hustings event from where the comments were then posted on social media.

One woman involved has given the PSNI a statement in relation to the meeting in Downpatrick, a senior source confirmed.

The PSNI, which interviewed the DUP MLA last week, has confirmed it will send a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

In the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, Mr Wells revealed he believes charges will not be brought against him over the comments, which led to a political storm and ended his career as a minister.

The DUP remained silent yesterday following our disclosures as Mr Wells did a round of interviews with other Press and broadcast media.

He repeated on the BBC NI Nolan Show his "deep hurt" that when he sent a full transcript of his remarks to his party colleagues, including the entire 38-strong MLA team, only four of them read it.

At the hustings event in April, Mr Wells said: "All evidence throughout the world says the best way to raise children is in a loving, stable, married relationship; the facts show that, the facts show that certainly you don't bring a child up in a homosexual relationship."

With the audience in uproar, he then immediately went on: "I say again, I say again, a child is far more likely to be abused or neglected in a non-stable marriage situation, gay or straight."

The South Down MLA argued that his remarks overall made clear he was talking about unstable relationships, whether they were heterosexual or homosexual relationships.

His attempt to clear his name came under fire from one campaign group yesterday.

Fight4Equality argued there was no difference between the recording and the full transcript of Mr Wells' remarks.

Spokesperson Courtney Robinson said: "He proudly boasts of his opposition to same-sex marriage.

"He then goes on to say that same-sex couples are incapable of providing a loving, stable home for children and that those who grow up outside such a home are more likely to be abused.

"The clear implication is that same-sex couples are more likely to abuse their children.

"These comments are homophobic, bigoted and totally out of touch with the 68% of people who support equal marriage.

"Jim Wells is not the victim here."

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