Andy Street didn't realise he was gay until 30 - and talks of 'intense friendship' with MP Michael Fabricant

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has has opened up about coming out as gay - but insists he doesn't see himself as a trailblazer for doing so.

Mayor Andy Street
Mayor Andy Street

In an interview with GB News, Mr Street explained he wasn't sure on his sexuality until he reached his late 20s.

Speaking to Gloria De Piero in an interview, Mr Street said the way his announcement has been treated was a "credit to modern Britain".

He said: "I was very clear, standing in a role like that people needed to know who you were, what your values were, what makes you tick.

"So the fact that I was gay needed to be on the public record. So I just did it.

"It makes absolutely no difference to how I do my job, but people needed to know and that was all it was, I didn't sort of feel I was a trailblazer in any way. It's probably 30 years too late for any of that."

Mr Street said he didn’t realise he was gay until the age of 30.

"That's just my story," he said. "I know for many people they know when they're five or six, some people say sooner, but for me it was much later in life really.

"I suspect if I'm very honest, it was to do with all the normative pressures that there are as you're growing up and the things you expect to do.

"But in my late 20s I just thought, ‘No, this isn't me’. And so, things changed."

Mr Street said he is pleased to have been honest with people and that, apart from in interviews, his sexuality is never really mentioned.

He also spoke about his friendship with Lichfield Tory MP Michael Fabricant which has lasted for nearly 30 years.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant

"We don't live together, to be really clear about it, but we are very close and I know he will always be there for me and me for him," he said.

"We do lots of things together and as he's said many times, we have this shared holiday home in west Wales where we both enjoy it, sometimes together, sometimes with respective friends.

"If you're not married with kids you do need a different group of intense friends to provide that sort of support network and Michael has been an intense friend for many, many years."

Asked about his views on Partygate, he claimed that people wanted the Government to deliver on its promises rather than a change of leader.

"Of course, what's happened in terms of Number 10, Partygate is utterly wrong. Absolutely. No question about it, it has to be condemned."

He added, however: "Think about the delivery of HS2, to level up, of the devolution deal that we're working on, investment in new jobs and skills and new industries.

"Those are the things that matter; actually, is the Government going to deliver on those promises?

"So to all Conservative MPs, I would say that's what I and my citizens are actually really, really wanting to see."

Asked if he hoped Boris Johnson would be party leader at the next General Election, he said: "That is not down to me, that is actually down to MPs, and then the members of the party."

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