- The Washington Times - Friday, May 1, 2009


A quip on a comedy show by an openly homosexual member of the British Parliament to kill Miss California because she opposes gay marriage outraged her American supporters and prompted one conservative group to demand the expulsion of the British ambassador.

Alan Duncan, a leading member of the British Conservative Party, called Carrie Prejean “silly” for expressing her disapproval of same-sex marriage during the Miss USA pageant last month.

“If you read that Miss California has been murdered, you will know it was me, won’t you,” he said last week in London on a television quiz show called “Have I Got News for You.”

His remarks were covered by most of the London newspapers from the racy tabloid, the Sun, to the staid, conservative Telegraph. A gay media organization in London called “Pinknews” contacted a conservative, pro-family organization in the Washington area for reaction.

“The British ambassador should be sent home immediately, and the president of the United States should sever diplomatic relations for a period of time,” said Eugene Delgaudio, president of Public Advocate for the United States.

A spokesman for Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald dismissed the furor created by Mr. Duncan’s comments.

“We have nothing to say on this report,” the spokesman said.

However, the Rev. Miles McPherson, the pastor of the church Miss Prejean attends, took Mr. Duncan’s words seriously and added that Miss Prejean has received death threats since voicing opposition to gay marriage.

“You cannot say it was a joke,” Mr. McPherson said. “The man is a leading politician who may soon have great government power. Murder is murder in any context.”

Mr. Duncan is a close supporter of Conservative leader David Cameron, who is favored in public opinion polls to become the next prime minister. Mr. Cameron is reportedly considering naming Mr. Duncan as home secretary, who oversees British police and security services, in a Conservative government.

Mr. Duncan, himself, has tried to downplay his remarks and issued an apology of sorts.

“I’m sure she’s very beautiful and that, if we were to meet, we would love each other,” he told columnist Matthew Bell in London’s Independent newspaper.

“I’ll send her a box of chocolates - unpoisoned.”


The president of Iceland apologized to U.S. Ambassador Carol van Voorst after his office mistakenly announced she would receive the nation’s highest medal.

President Olafur Grimsson telephoned Mrs. van Voorst last week, as she was on her way to the presidential residence to receive the Order of the Falcon, according to press reports in Iceland on Thursday. Mr. Grimsson, nevertheless, invited the ambassador to meet with him so he could bid her farewell. Mrs. van Voorst, a career Foreign Service officer, is leaving Iceland after serving as ambassador there since 2006.

Ornolfur Thorsson, the presidential secretary, took responsibility for misinforming Mrs. van Voorst that she would receive the award.

Eidur Gudnason, a former Icelandic ambassador to China, denounced the diplomatic blunder and said the president should have given her the award regardless of whether he intended for her to receive it.

“The presidential office cannot revoke such a thing,” he said, adding that the snub will unlikely have any lasting consequences on U.S.-Iceland relations. “I think the Americans will just have a laugh about this.”

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.

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