Updated: Monday, 30th March 2020 @ 9:06pm

Holocaust denier David Irving's sick jibe at LGBT community for ‘their part in AIDS epidemic’ – while Manchester celebrated Pride

Holocaust denier David Irving's sick jibe at LGBT community for ‘their part in AIDS epidemic’ – while Manchester celebrated Pride

Exclusive by Danielle Wainwright & Marios Papaloizou

Disgraced historian and ‘holocaust denier’ David Irving has blasted Manchester Pride and told the LGBT community they should remain quiet, blaming them for ‘their part in the AIDS epidemic'.

As Manchester Pride was raising money for HIV charities at the weekend, Mr Irving arrived in Manchester on Saturday to give a talk at a secret location.

In an interview with MM, the outspoken author debated whether there was such a thing as the LGBT movement and claimed they should ‘keep very quiet about the harm they have done'.

“I think we have problems as it is and I have my own views about the gay lesbian movement, if there is such a movement,” he said.

“I think that they should keep very quiet about the harm they’ve done to the rest of the world.

“Ever since 1981 as a community, the world community has been suffering increasingly from the aids epidemic and that’s all I’m going to say.”

Councillor Howard Balkind, Labour councillor for Swinton South ward, described the controversial figure's comments toward the LGBT community as 'disgusting'.

"I can not believe that someone could make these comments before a time of celebration and joy at Manchester Pride.

"The problem is there are too many ignorant people who feel so strongly against a particular type of person, If I walk down the street with my wife and kiss her  in public nothing is said, yet if people of the same sex hold hands there is uproar. There is no difference to me.

"Whatever orientation you are, your sex life is your own private business."

Manchester's Lesbian and Gay Foundation have also hit out at the comments and told MM: “David Irving’s comments are incredibly damaging and hurtful. It’s statements like this that show the need for events like Manchester Pride, and illustrates the homophobia still prevalent in society today.

"David’s ignorance around HIV/AIDS is especially alarming, and adds to the myths, fear and stigma that can still surround the issue.”

Organisers of Manchester Pride branded Mr Irving's comments as 'ignorant', adding that his 'hurtful and defamatory comments are dangerous in our society'.

South Manchester Liberal Democrat MP John Leech is an outspoken supporter of the LGBT community and said he was looking forward to this weekend's celebration.

He said: "The theme of Acceptable in the 80s seems particularly relevant this year.

"The 80s were a decade of real importance for HIV and LGBT activism and so it seems appropriate that 2013, as a year of achievement for the LGBT community, should remember the 80s.

"I am very glad that we are able to say that many things which were not ‘acceptable in the 80s’ are today celebrated and this weekend will give the people of Manchester the opportunity to do just that."

Mr Balkind also spoke about how Mr Irving's talk was offensive and worrying for the Jewish community too.

"As a Jew myself, I do not know how anyone could make a hero out of someone so evil as Adolf Hitler and what the Germans did," he said.

"It is a sad state of affairs when, if you look at the upcoming Jewish festival on Friday, there will be police patrolling, looking for any suspicious behaviour. It is terrifying that at any moment you could be the target of an attack just for your beliefs or race or sexual orientation." 

Essex-born Mr Irving grew up during World War II and first drew controversy as editor of Carnival Times magazine.

His article Hitler the greatest unifying force Europe has known since Charlemagne, featured in a supplement paper and was destroyed before distribution.

Mr Irving went on to write more than 25 books, none so controversial as his 1977 biography Hitler’s War, in which he spoke about the ‘real’ Hitler who he claimed had been slandered by historians over the years.

In the book he also claimed that Hitler had no knowledge of the holocaust and begin to openly deny the events in the 1980s.

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