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Mundell felt he had 'gone 15 rounds with Tyson day after announcing he is gay'

Published 03/03/2016

David Mundell is the first openly gay Tory Cabinet minister
David Mundell is the first openly gay Tory Cabinet minister

Scottish Secretary David Mundell revealed he felt like he had "gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson" the day after he announced he is gay, but described the reaction as "very positive".

Mr Mundell, the first openly gay Tory Cabinet minister, made a statement on his website in January in which he said resolving to go public this year was ''one of the most important decisions of my life''.

In an interview broadcast on Thursday, the MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale said he made the decision for his own personal happiness.

Speaking on ITV Border's Around The House, Mr Mundell said: "I think everybody has to do what's right for them.

"I feel that even more strongly now, you know, there are people who aren't out and I don't think you can say automatically 'you must come out', you've got to do what's right for you, what you feel comfortable with.

"But I can look back and think, you know, of what I'd created in my own mind as to how difficult it might be and I've said I thought it would be more difficult than standing up at the Despatch Box in the House of Commons against my 56 SNP colleagues, which most people would think is a pretty daunting thing.

"In fact it wasn't, at the end of the day in that sense, although I did find it very very emotionally draining.

"I felt, the day after, that I'd gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson in terms of my state and it took a little bit of time just to build back up to some sort of personal equilibrium in that sense and I feel I'm at that point now.

"I'm absolutely clear it was the right thing to do. I'm just glad that I did and that I've done it."

He also revealed how he approached Prime Minister David Cameron to tell him about his decision.

"I asked to meet him after Cabinet and said I had something personal I wanted to discuss with him but he was very, very supportive.

"He said 'well done' and 'good on you' and 'we'll support and help you and whatever' and that's what Cabinet colleagues did, they were very very supportive and in terms of my day-to-day relationship with them, what I do every day in my job, nothing's changed.

"That's the other really good thing, I think, because my view is that what we want to make sure is that the people from the LGBT community are able to be in the mainstream."

Mr Mundell said he had not expected the reaction he got from people he had never met before who came back with their own personal stories. This was something he described as a " very positive part of the whole experience."

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