The unprecedented apology excuses the newspaper's estimated 17 million cases of gay bashing since since its birth to proud same sex parents Lords Alfred 'Alfie Sparkles' Northcliffe and Harold 'Hazmatazz' Rothermere in 1896, but leaves it open to accusations of political correctness gone mad and pandering to minorities.
An insider said: 'It's political correctness gone mad. When will the Daily Mail stop pandering to minorities?'
Author of the 'Ephraim Hardcastle' gossip column Peter McKay apologised to openly Tory blogger Iain Dale after calling him 'overtly gay' and implying that he was attempting to organise some sort of fruity disco sausage fest by inviting readers of gay newspaper PinkNews to attend a parliamentary selection meeting:
Overtly gay Tory blogger Iain Dale has reached the final stage of parliamentary selection for Bracknell, telling PinkNews: "I hope any PinkNews readers who live in Bracknell will come to the open primary on October 17 to select their new candidate. You don't even have to be a Conservative to attend."
Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally like-minded chaps to their cause?
Dale responded by complaining to the Press Complaints Commission, and McKay* attempted to placate the angry gay with the following:
I must say I'm quite surprised at the furore created by the piece in my
column yesterday. As regular readers will be aware the EH section is meant to be a lighthearted gossip piece and is certainly not meant to be taken
However I understand that perspectives on these things are different for
different people and realise that though no offence was intended, you did indeed find the piece offensive.
I'm certainly happy to offer my fullest apologies for any offence caused
and reflect that I may have made an error of judgement on this occasion.
Of course I'll happily through a few bobbies in the direction of your
nominated charity and hope that all is now fine and dandy.
The offending section of the Hardcastle column has now been removed [update: it's now been reinstated]. Sources say the sincerely self-justifying apology completely makes up for such previous cases of homophobia as the Mail's campaign against gay child-snatching, Melanie Phillips's 'homosexuality is to blame for social breakdown' article, and Richard Littlejohn's entire back catalogue.
A barrel-chested heterosexual spokesman said: 'Thank goodness no high-profile Conservative bloggers have highlighted our rampant homophobia before. We've learned a valuable lesson today: generic bigotry goes unnoticed but gays cause a stink when we single them out. Oh well, at least all is fine and dandy now.'
++ Stop press ++
A clearly contrite Peter McKay follows up his apology with this in today's 'Hardcastle' column:
Tory blogger Iain Dale complains about an item here yesterday...I have nothing against Dale. Nor am I homophobic. But if he wants to become an MP, surely he'll have to become a little less sensitive. Incidentally, the Tories are having their first gay pride event at their Manchester conference next week. They'll promote a new 'gay-friendly' logo, Conservative Pride. Isn't life grand?Update
* The apology was a hoax. Peter McKay has confirmed that he is unrepentant for being a homophobic cretin and that the apology was not penned by him.
A spokesman said: 'We would never apologise to a poof. We might catch queer by proxy somehow.'