Welsh MP Chris Bryant has challenged Tyson Fury to a 'fight' because of his comments on homosexuality

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Tuesday 15 December 2015 14:00
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Welsh Labour MP Chris Bryant has challenged controversial boxer Tyson Fury to a fight over his views on homosexuality.

The MP for Rhondda had originally offered to meet the boxer for a cup of tea at the House of Commons to chat about harmful stereotypes.

Fury, the newly crowned world heavyweight champion, has been nominated for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year. There have been calls for his name to be struck off the shortlist, however, thanks to the boxer's comments last month comparing homosexuality to paedophilia and saying that a woman's place is either "in the kitchen" or "on her back".

Bryant spoke with Tyson's uncle Paul Fury on 5Live last week, where Paul suggested the two meet for a training session.

Now Bryant, who said he boxed as a 12-year-old, has written an open letter to the boxing champ in The Mirror accepting the challenge.

Bryant said he wants to help Fury "get to the root of your true beliefs and ensure no young homosexual person feels any stigma or bullying because of your comments":

Dear Mr Fury,

I am writing as a Labour MP for the Rhondda and Shadow Leader of House of Commons.

Following the controversy surrounding your nomination for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award, I was wondering whether we could meet up to discuss some of the issues you have raised, including homosexuality and paedophilia.

As a gay man, former Anglican vicar and previous Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport I am worried that your comments could increase the stigma felt by young gay people and could encourage the bullying.

You were clear on the Jeremy Vine Show that you have positive and non-homophobic beliefs and love everybody, and I was encouraged to hear you say 'I would like to put on record that I am not homophobic. I have homosexual friends and I do not judge them because of their sexuality. My comments that you may have read are from the holy scriptures, and this is what I live from'.

Your uncle Paul Fury seemed to agree a meeting might be helpful when we were on 5Live together last Sunday – he even suggested a we should do a training session together. As a former schoolboy boxer (when I was all of 12) I say bring it on! If you come to my workplace I’ll come to yours.

I hope you’re up for this. Do let me know when is convenient for you if so. I can organise the meeting here in Parliament and hopefully we can give you a proper platform in Parliament to help get to the root of your true beliefs and ensure no young homosexual person feels any stigma or bullying because of your comments.

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