Green MPs mock Key for 'gay' comment

20:03, Nov 06 2012

Prime Minister John Key may have hoped his comment about a radio host's "gay red top" would go away but the Greens were not prepared to let him off the hook yesterday.

Openly gay MP Kevin Hague yesterday sported a red t-shirt, with the slogan "Absolute Homo" in bold black letters, around the parliamentary complex.

However, he was not brave enough to wear it into the debating chamber, which would have breached its strict dress code requiring men to wear a shirt and tie.

Fellow Green female backbench MPs also wore red yesterday in protest at Mr Key's comments.

Mr Key has said he was just joking around with Farming Show host Jamie Mackay on Friday, and meant no offence.

On the same day, he reportedly said English footballer David Beckham was "thick as bats..t", attracting the attention of international media.

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The "gay red top" comment was yesterday condemned by Hobbit star Sir Ian McKellen, who said Mr Key should "watch his language".

The actor, who has a strong association with New Zealand, said he was currently touring secondary schools in Britain.

"[I'm] attacking homophobia in the playground and discouraging kids from the careless use of 'gay' which might make their gay friends and teachers feel less about themselves."

Mr Key yesterday refused to comment, saying he'd dealt with the matter on Monday. Fairfax NZ

Taranaki Daily News