A GAY MP from Yorkshire has spoken in Parliament about being the victim of a homophobic attack.
Conservative Stuart Andrew called for police forces to crack down on such assaults.
He told the Commons: “One in five gay and lesbian people has experienced homophobic attack in the last three years.
“As someone who experienced such an attack in the 1990s, I’m aware of the fear that goes on after such an attack.”
Speaking during equality questions, the Pudsey MP praised West Yorkshire Police’s efforts to tackle hate crimes, and the force’s work with gays to report homophobic assaults.
Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone told him: “I’m extremely sorry to learn you had such an experience.
“The actual statistics are quite frightening in terms of hate crime - in 2010 over 48,000.”
Ms Featherstone said police should take allegations seriously “as they are in a position to act on what they hear and make sure we tackle hate crime”.
She added that homophobic bullying was “appalling” and the Government had issued new guidelines to tackle bullying which were “much more condensed and to the point”.