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Former UKIP Donor Prints Open Letter Declaring "There Is No Such Word As Homophobic"

The open letter to Libby Purves was published in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.

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Demetri Marchessini, a Greek businessman who has previously given £10,000 to UKIP, today published an open letter in the Daily Telegraph claiming the word "homophobic" cannot "be found in any dictionary".

Jim Waterson

Marchessini booked a quarter page advert to attack Purves' column in The Times of Monday 20th January, in which she discussed anti-gay movements in Russia and linked homophobia to religion.

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He also insists that historic bans on sodomy did not stop men falling in love.

Jim Waterson

So who's the man behind all this?

Demetri Marchessini

This image, labelled "pretty photo", appears on Marchessini's website. He claims to have been educated at "Williams College and Harvard Law School" in the United States and describes himself as "Observer, Businessman, Thinker, Writer".

Last week he hosted an event at London's Conway Hall featuring Vanessa Feltz entitled "How Equal Are Men & Women?" and billed as "A panel debate between three feminists and a conservative".

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Last year Demetri Marchessini told the BBC's Ross Hawkins that he would no longer give money to UKIP.

After being criticised for saying unmarried mothers should be "given a good smack" he explained that the donations weren't worth the effort: "There's been such a fuss about what I've given it's a bore."

Great giggling at @thetimes about the furious Marchessini buying space (bafflingly) in @Telegraph to refute me on Putin antigay policy...

Libby Purves@lib_thinks

Great giggling at @thetimes about the furious Marchessini buying space (bafflingly) in @Telegraph to refute me on Putin antigay policy...

11:21 AM - 28 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

OK, Marchessini is a joke: but persecution, beating, jailing and hanging of young gay men around the world (inc Commonwealth) is not a joke.

Libby Purves@lib_thinks

OK, Marchessini is a joke: but persecution, beating, jailing and hanging of young gay men around the world (inc Commonwealth) is not a joke.

11:24 AM - 28 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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