A Cabinet minister is ready to take legal action to halt a series of increasingly lurid but baseless rumours sweeping Westminster over his sexuality, the Daily Telegraph claims today in a front page story which appears to be a warning to the media to lay off the story.
The paper says the minister, who is married, has been accused of having an affair with a Whitehall official and of having a long-term relationship with a journalist.
"He has strongly denied the allegations. Senior Downing Street aides are braced this weekend for “suggestive” reports to begin surfacing over the Cabinet minister’s private life. Friends of the minister have warned that he will not hesitate to take “action” should unfounded allegations that he is homosexual, which are circulating on the internet, appear in mainstream media, " the Telegraph says.
It is not clear whether this action would take the form of an injunction or a threat to sue following publication. “He is happily married and is not gay, it is as simple as that,” one source tells the Telegraph. “He will not hesitate before taking the necessary action should someone overstep the mark and suggest something which is not true.”
- The warning came as Crispin Blunt, the prisons minister, announced that he was separating from his wife to allow him to “come to terms with his homosexuality”. He has appealed for his family’s privacy to be respected.