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Call to deselect Welsh Tory candidate over links to homophobic pastors

04 Jun 2024 4 minute read
Darren Millar MS speaking in the Senedd

Martin Shipton

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Jo Stevens has called on the Conservative Party to deselect its Clwyd North general election candidate because of his links to a homophobic and Islamophobic “hate preacher”.

Darren Millar, who has been a Member of the Senedd since 2007, is himself an evangelical Christian who before becoming a politician worked for an organisation that took Bibles to countries where they were banned or frowned upon by the authorities.

BBC Wales reported how he had previously attracted controversy for his association with a pastor called Yang Tuck Yoong, who described homosexuality as an “abomination” and a “sin”.

Mr Yoong was reported to police in 2013 after saying it was “far more rampant, militant and organised than most of us actually believe it to be” in a sermon titled “The Sin of Sodom”.

Financial links

In 2019, it emerged that a charity Mr Millar was a trustee of – the Evan Roberts Institute – had financial links to Mr Yoong’s Cornerstone Community Church. He said at the time he did not share the pastor’s views but human rights campaigners called for him to cut ties with the church.

The latest accounts of the Evan Roberts Institute show that the charity still leases a chapel it bought in 2014 to the Cornerstone Community Church, earning it income of £11,000 in ‘Freehold Reversionary Interest.’

Mr Millar told the BBC he did not endorse the views of the pastors and said “no one should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or religious beliefs”.

The refurbishment work on a chapel in Loughor, Swansea, was also paid for by the Cornerstone Community Church.

In a video from 2015, Mr Millar can be seen at the opening of Mr Yoong’s Bible College of Wales pictured alongside two other controversial preachers.The footage shows Mr Millar at an event with American preachers who have been accused of Islamophobia and homophobia – Lou Engle and Dutch Sheets.

In 2018, Mr Engle reportedly told a conference in Singapore that Muslims were “taking over the south of Spain” and said he “had a dream, where I will raise up the church all over Spain to push back a new modern Muslim movement”.

After the conference, hosted by the Cornerstone Community Church, police in Singapore reportedly investigated him over whether his comments could undermine religious harmony in Singapore. It was reported that Mr Yoong later apologised to Muslim community leaders for comments made by Mr Engle.

‘Martyrs’

Mr Engle has also reportedly called for “martyrs” to stop the “homosexual agenda” and accused Muslims of “fuelling the demonic realm” in sermons.

Also pictured with Mr Millar in the footage is the pastor Mr Sheets – a Christian nationalist. Mr Sheets has previously said that America must “refuse to give this nation to demons” including “Hinduism” and said that “Christianity will invade Islam”.

In a comment about the event at the time, Mr Millar said he was “delighted” to be at the event and said: “I thank God immensely how He shook a guy in Singapore and attracted him to this place in order to invest in what I believe is a project that would have ramification for the kingdom of God for many years to come. And I am delighted to be part of it.”

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “The Conservative Party does not condone homophobia or discrimination of any sort. Mr Millar has been clear that he does not share the views of these individuals.”

‘Shocking’

Ms Stevens, Labour’s candidate for the new seat of Cardiff East, said: “It’s shocking that Mr Millar continues to be associated with individuals who have homophobic, bigoted views that have no place in our society.

“Voters will rightly be asking serious questions about his suitability for both Parliament and the Senedd.

“It is not too late for the Conservative Party to do the right thing and suspend Mr Millar as a parliamentary candidate and from the Senedd Conservative group while these allegations are investigated.”

The deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers for the general election is 4pm on Friday June 7.


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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
8 hours ago

I am in no way a Conservative supporter, but to be fair, Darren Millar is a decent, hard-working and principled man. He does not deserve this slander!

Last edited 8 hours ago by Mr Williams
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
8 hours ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

I would also add that he has been a very good Aelod Senedd for Clwyd West, always very helpful and treats people respectfully. A nice man.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 hours ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Mr Williams, like every good teacher you have me thinking…

about the word Charisma…

it is not a very nice word, perhaps misunderstood, thought to be a blessing but in many cases a curse on all around those with it…count the dead, start with Fat Shanks and work back…

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
7 hours ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

I agree. And I would never vote Conservatives (or Labour for that matter). Darren Millar has clearly stated that he doesn’t condone this man’s hate speech. I don’t see what the issue is.

Richard E
Richard E
1 hour ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

DM is an energetic and able Tory who is well liked well outside party circles. His religious views are his own and folk from many backgrounds would not find him as in anyway a bigot. If we look across all parties including the one I usually vote for we see strange bed fellows. Plaid sit with some very odd fellow traveler’s in the EFA including untra right Flemish politicians and pro Putin Russian Estonians. The Labour Party sits with some dreadful and regressive European legislators as do the Liberals etc etc. Let’s focus on Wales interests first !

Benjamin
Benjamin
6 hours ago

Darren Millar has depended on gay men to help him win elections. This is vulgar smearing, nothing more. A man’s faith is no one’s business.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 hours ago
Reply to  Benjamin

Yes it is in the public interest when the person concerned runs an ‘evangelical church’ in conjunction with another conservative MS, Russel George …

Through the Bevan Institute they can influence social policy in Cymru…

Perhaps when Martin has a moment…

Owain Glyndŵr
Owain Glyndŵr
5 hours ago

While one is not guilty by association, one’s character is affected by those who you associate with. Darren Millar comes across as a pleasant and helpful man, however it is clear that he would never vote for anything that in his interpretation is not biblical. To that extent he wouldn’t vote with his own party on progressive issues, such as Same Sex Marriage. Yet we find that he is now the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Clwyd North. He claims to be an honest man, yet he backs Andrew RT Davies. Darren Millar is full of contradictions. Personally I have more… Read more »

Last edited 5 hours ago by Owain Glyndŵr
Daniel Pitt
Daniel Pitt
2 hours ago

I’d have no problem with Conservatives if they tried harder to integrate within modern society

robin campbell
robin campbell
2 hours ago

I’d like to know from Jo Stevens why she is against devolving more powers to Cymru.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
17 minutes ago
Reply to  robin campbell

Or why She voted against a ceasefire in Gaza

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