Campaign is off to Parliament

Campaign is off to Parliament

George Montague on his scooter during Pride.

George Montague with the Prime Minister’s letter

First published in News by , Chief reporter

The “oldest gay in the village” has received the support of the Prime Minister as he campaigns to have his criminal conviction for being gay overturned.

George Montague, of Marine Parade, Brighton, was convicted of gross indecency in 1974 because of his sexuality. Now aged 91 and a Brighton Pride Ambassador, George has been seeking the help of David Cameron and his local MP Simon Kirby to get his conviction quashed.

Mr Cameron wrote congratulating him on his “commitment to the community” and charity work.

Mr Kirby has asked for the Ministry of Justice’s help to overturn George’s conviction.

George, who was a senior scout commissioner working with disabled children at the time of his conviction, says he is also owed an apology from the Scouting movement for ejecting him.

He said: “I was in the Scout movement for 40 years. I ended up with a conviction and I feel upset and angry. The police were institutionally homophobic at that time and I want an apology from the Scout Association.

“I wrote to the Prime Minister thanking him for getting the gay marriage law passed. I thought it would never go through.

“I was very pleased to receive a personal letter in reply from the Prime Minister?

George, who is regularly spotted on his highly decorated scooter, is preparing for this weekend’s Pride.

He has become famous for his sign “oldest gay in the village”.

He said: “People always ask me ‘how do you know you’re the oldest?’ I don’t really but no one has said they’re older.”

He is busy getting his scooter ready for Saturday – where he will sign copies of his new book The Oldest Gay in the Village in the Access Tent in Preston Park from 2 to 4pm and at Gelateria De Luca ice-cream parlour in St James’ Street from 6pm to 8pm.

The book costs £8.99 from John Blake Publishing.

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