This article is one of a series as part of WriteYou's coverage of Manchester Gorton, you can see the coverage here. Help WriteYou grow by supporting our powerful platform for independent fearless non partisan journalism here.
I have been passed the below Facebook post by concerned Manchester Gorton members. In it Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar says that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. Sources say he has made the same comments on several occasions.
One of the sources who passed me this information said, "It is in the public interest for this to come out given the crucial role Rabnawaz is playing in the Manchester Gorton selection. It's a disgraceful thing to say".
Another Labour source said, "Homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice and it's offensive for Rabnawaz to even suggest it. He should apologise to LGBT people, including many in his own Party who campaign alongside him against intolerance and for equality. This kind of language is plain wrong and Councillor Akbar should be ashamed".
A Labour Councillor in Manchester told me, "This could be why he was kept off the shortlist".
Councillor Akbar was one of the candidates longlisted for Manchester Gorton but he didn't make the shortlist.
Akbar didn't reply to my request for a comment.
*After publishing this article Mr Akbar wrote two posts on Facebook attacking me saying that I accused him of being a homophobe and a misogynist bully. I have done no such thing and if Mr Akbar can find evidence of being doing this, I'm happy to issue a correction. The reason the coverage seems skewed against Mr Akbar is because he refuses to engage with me. I talk to many Manchester Councillors every day, but he refuses. Mr Akbar is welcome to contribute to the site.
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