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One of the Conservative party's leading "Red Wall" MPs says she is bisexual but had not wanted to say so earlier as it is no "big deal".
Dehenna Davison, elected as MP for Bishop Auckland in 2019 as she won the seat from Labour for the first time since its creation in 1885, is thought to be the first female Tory MP to come out as bisexual.
In a wide-ranging interview to be broadcast on GB News on Monday, Miss Davison also talks of how she imagined being Prime Minister and grew up thinking that Winston Churchill was a Labour leader.
In her interview with presenter Gloria de Piero, the 28-year-old, a rising Conservative Party star, says: "I've known that I'm bisexual for quite a lot of years. All my close friends and family know.
"If anyone were to explicitly ask me, I certainly wouldn't try and hide it because I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of. The reason I haven't done a kind of, 'by the way, guys' is because I don't want being bi to be considered a big deal.
"If I did a very public kind of coming out parade, that would be me saying there's something really unusual about this and trying to make a big deal of it when to me it's not. It's just part of who I am."
Ms Davison's distinctive first name meant she would adopt a nickname on dating sites to ensure people were not put off by the fact that she is an MP.
She said: "I don't feel like I need to be in a relationship, but ultimately you do want to settle down with someone. So I decided to get myself on a dating app. But having such an unusual name, I thought, maybe that's not the most incognito way – and the last thing you want is someone trying to match or chat to you because they know what you do.
"That'd be a bit creepy. So I was on it under a kind of nickname, and I didn't say what I did for a living or anything like that. So it was a little bit more natural. I went on a few nice dates, dates with a few nice girls and a few nice guys. And it was just, you know, fun."
Miss Davison is in the process of divorcing her husband and is in a relationship with a man. She told former Labour MP Miss De Piero: "I'm seeing someone at the moment. It's going really well, and I'm very excited about it. But we'll see, the future is a very exciting place."
In the interview, she described the shock of learning that her father, Dominic, had been killed by a single blow "in the side of the neck" when she was just 13.
She said: "The force was just enough and it hit exactly the wrong point that it ripped an artery. My Dad was dead before he hit the ground, basically, which was such a shock. I mean, you can't really mentally prepare yourself for that at all."
Her father's assailant pleaded self-defence and was not convicted of the assault, she said. She has set up an all-party parliamentary group on one-punch assaults to see whether more needs to be done for victims and on sentencing assailants.
Not having been raised in a political family, Miss Davison said she had "genuinely thought growing up that Winston Churchill was a Labour prime minister".
She admitted that she occasionally thought about leading the Tory party, adding: "You kind of fantasise and see who's in at the moment and you think, 'maybe this is something that I could do' – but would I like to?
"The upside is you get a chance to really try and shape the country and try and make it better, which is what we all get into politics to do anyway. And what better way than by leading a party and potentially going on to lead the country? But I think there are so many downsides too. I mean, that complete invasion into your personal life.
"It's hard enough being a backbench MP... and I'm just not really sure whether that's something that I'd really want to do. And certainly I wouldn't want that pressure put on my family."
Watch Gloria De Piero's full interview with Dehenna Davison on GB News at 12.30pm on Monday