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The 50 most powerful gay, lesbian and bisexual people in British politics

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  1. Peter Tatchell at No. 22! No way! In terms of keeping the injustice we suffer in front of the public eye Peter Tatchell is No. 1.

    Nearly all those other guys and gals on the list are only “influential”! Few of them are influential in LGBT matters and concerns. They just happen to influential AND gay.

    The one who is the most influential at supporting gay rights is Peter.

  2. A low news day today apparently… NOT!

    Hate crimes and sickening miscarriages of justice to report.

    This list could have been typed by a chimpanzee; no rhyme or reason to it

  3. Interesting to note that my Labour MP didn’t make to the top 50, so I guess he is not ‘out’. He held a junior Ministerial post in the government until last year.

  4. paul canning 6 Mar 2009, 7:12pm

    Er, LGBT Labour and Katie Hanson have ‘spoken out’ on LGBT asylum when? Exactly?

  5. Can Pink news please get back to being a serious news site? So-called power lists are a very distasteful American concept, and in this case only emphasizes how far some gay people are prepared to stoop to sell their souls and become a part of the, ahem, New Labour ‘elite’ establishment. As the saying goes, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Please, Pink, refrain from this triviality and hurry up with the next batch of soap updates!!

  6. How is the former leader of the obscure, Liverpool-based Liberal Party more powerful than Darren Johnson?

  7. (Peter Tatchell at No. 22! No way! In terms of keeping the injustice we suffer in front of the public eye Peter Tatchell is No. 1.) Here,Here Eddy. Peter infact help me with many issues on my partners plight over his Country of origin (Algeria) and my own Country who infact also sentenced him for a crimes he didn’t committ.all he did was be honest about his lifestyle and got put in prison for it in his own country.. after they forced him out of England and onto a plane against his will in the first place..Then after a long political fight and demands of 1 million pound for his training as a pilot. i finally got him out of house arrest and on a flight back to the uk and the demands droped.. then after all that my own country placed him on a fast track deportation order back to his country of origin and claimed he had re entered the uk illegaly? yet he had a valid passport!.. so thats when i stepped in with some help and advice from Peter along the way Peter was alway at the end of the phone or an email away.. We Won His Case And Hes now Here With me 5 Years down the line. yet hes now being Persecuted by children belonging to the same country that gave him protection. his storys online his first one 5 years ago.. and now 5 years down the line my life and his life is in the news again only its under the news headlines of (Children ‘taunted’ gay man) infact they were taunting 3 Gay man not just one!.and the taunting has been going on now for 3 years the police have been educated loudly be me. the next lesson of Education is for the parents/parent. trust me as my partner already stated they will be Educated Too!. ;-)

  8. Howard, good to hear your story! Keep telling it any way you can. Even in this country there is an enormous amount of homophobia. There’s a lot of “tolerance” but not a great deal of welcoming acceptance.

  9. I think you have Margaret Smith MSP’s name wrong. Elizabeth Smith is a Tory MSP

  10. 1) Oh, him.
    2) Who?
    3) Who?
    4) Who?
    5) Who? ….
    x) Ooooh, I didn’t know he was gay!! (titilation)
    y) Who?
    z) Who? …
    n+1) Who?

  11. “The list is meant to demonstrate that LGBT people are a force in every major political party.”

    How can LGBT people be a force unless they all work towards the same ends? Peter Mandelson? What’s he ever said or done about being gay?

    Surely it doen’t matter whether a person is actually LGBT or not, it only matters whether thy’re fair-minded and support equal rights. Many people who’ve done a lot more for LGBT equality are nowhere to be seen on this list.

    Sorry, Pink News, but I think your list is worthless. In fact it’s positively misleading.

  12. Even if the ordering is haywire, this is a pretty interesting list – I knew perhaps 20 of these names, and it’s been good to know who else is out there. ( I’m even more interested to know who these ‘in’ lesbians are in the House of Commons.) Yes, Peter Mandelson’s a planet destroying power mad louse, but he’s still gay and influential, we must face facts. Well done, Pink Paper, this is a good relevant piece.

  13. PS … but if there are enormous gaps, perhaps Dave and others could tell us who they think is missing?

  14. I was thinking of Sue Sanders in particular. But, for examples, all these people have done more than Mandelson

    Kevin Brennan
    Simon Edge
    Peter Hain
    Rowen Jade
    Elly Barnes
    Charles Clarke

  15. All most all of the Labour people on this list will be out of a job after the next election. Quite frankly it’s time to start looking more seriously at the Conservatives for the future leaders of the LGBT community. Alan Duncan, Nick Herbert and Margot James are the next Mandelsons, except they’re not corrupt.

  16. “All most all of the Labour people on this list will be out of a job after the next election. Quite frankly it’s time to start looking more seriously at the Conservatives for the future leaders of the LGBT community. Alan Duncan, Nick Herbert and Margot James are the next Mandelsons, except they’re not corrupt.”


  17. I am amazed to see James Knox listed on this at all, but especially so high at 35. This guy is almost unheard of amongst the gay community in Northern Ireland, yet you’ve put him higher on the list than Johann Hari, who has a daily audience of hundreds of thousands and is truly influential. This brings the list into disrepute, I’m afraid.

  18. Queer News 8 Mar 2009, 12:11pm

    Interesting article but I would like to echo the comments so far that there are huge gaps and serious omissions.

    There are tons of “activists” and non-politicians who work tirelessly and have their fingers in many pies and pull a lot of strings in many movements. Where are all the youth leaders who keep popping up and making a noise? Where are all the well-paid heads of charities and equality commissioner types?

    At the moment this list is reminiscent of the Independent annual “Pink List” which is also pretty flawed. It is purely a “pecking order” and doesn’t indicate the actual level of influence these people have. Most of them being ineffective, disliked characters who improve more for their own interests than the wider LGBT community.

  19. I can understand the temptation to produce a list of this kind. gets coverage – hopefully – in the national press, who will be happy to have another few yards of gay topics to go on about. Fair enough; I don’t begrudge you the coverage. But if you really must do this kind of list, you must follow through with a list of figures who meet the description in the title. Do you mean “British politics” or “British public life”? Not everyone in the list is in British politics. I take the earlier point about the pick from Northern Ireland. Presumably, the team had trouble thinking of anyone in Northern Irish politics who is actually gay. Thus, they selected someone who is on a quango. In fact, there are openly gay senior figures in some of Northern Ireland’s more progressive political parties who could have been chosen, not least the executive director of the Alliance Party, Gerry Lynch. Not to include Lynch in a list of openly gay people in politics in Northern Ireland. You include Seb Dance, though I fear you have massively overstated his role in Northern Ireland politics. To say that he is powerful is to redefine the term. I assume he’s a friend of one of the Pinknews chaps. You include political correspondents from England, so presumably political commentators and writers from Northern Ireland, and elsewhere, would be considered for the list. But, no; not a one has made it from the dark-distant land of Iris Robinson and Ian Paisley. Instead, it’s a guy on a quango (who, when Irish Robinson launched her attack on gays, was not heard once on a single radio or TV show challenging her comments). Tony: you are from Ulster, aren’t you? Surely you could have protected you colleagues from this list, which is an insult to the intelligence of Northern Ireland’s gay community.

  20. Karen Blythe 9 Mar 2009, 11:07am


    surely there is someone missing from this list. What about Nick Hendorson from the LGBT Network EU. He has supported that LGBT Asylum seeker and is spearheading a range of issues which Pink News seem to brush under the carpet.

  21. Exactly Karen, PinkNews, tell me one LGBT thing Joe Fitzpatrick has spoken out on since he was elected. Where is Margaret Smith, MSP’s support for the LGBT Networks same sex marriage petition? Where is Stonewalls support for the LGBT Networks campaign for gay specific programming on the BBC?

    PinkNews, when you compile your list, you should look at who is actually moving the agenda forward and doing things of meaning and worth, rather than who is just gay and in power.

  22. These lists are ridiculous…. “power lists” only play into then hands of those who think we have some kind of diabolical apolitical gay “agenda”. There’s more to these people than the fact they’re gay, and if there isn’t, then god help us all.

  23. I don’ want to sound like a Golden Oldie but even 15 years ago this list would have been unimaginable. Shouldn’t we all cheer the fact that gay people do at last have some influence in public life? Squabbling over the exact order seems utterly irreleavent to someone who can remember the days of no out gay politicians, journalists, broadcasters ect ect. Why do some lesbian and gay people seem always so keen to attack people trying to make progress?

  24. Alix Martin 9 Mar 2009, 4:46pm

    I completely agree with a last comment. 15 years ago this list would not have existed. I am saddened however, that still in 2009, women only represent less than 20% of this list. Is this because we are not so much in public life? Or is this because the compilers of the list did not look for more women?

  25. I disagree with the comment before last. Peter Mandelson was reported to be against proposed legislation which, it was argued, could damage business in the current economic situation. It was claimed the new Equality Bill would be a casualty. These reports were denied within hours, but only time will tell. You can surely see why the fact that gay people have some influence in public life is not necessarily a good thing. In a climate of equality, what matters is the principles people espouse, not their sexual orientation.

  26. Katie @ Lesbian Movie Reviews 11 Mar 2009, 7:58am

    I have lived in the UK as a lesbian for the last 15 years and I will tell you this. The people on your list may have at some time identified themselves as gay or lesbian but for the majority of them, they are really quite about this. What is the point of being the most influential people who are lesbian or gay if they, i.e most of the people on the list, are shy about their homosexuality

  27. Colm Howard-Lloyd 11 Mar 2009, 11:57am

    I assume describing Nick Brown MP as:

    Gordon’s cheerleader cum enforcer

    Is an unfortunate turn-of-phrase rather than a real job.

    In all seriousness it would be useful to reveal Pink New’s methodology in compiling the list. For example you rate some members of (albeit technically) non-political staff higher than some elected politicians. On what criteria are we basing the concept of power?

  28. Brian Burton 12 Mar 2009, 11:33am

    Who ever compiled this silly list should bear in mind the ‘Nazi Blacklist’ (it happened in my lifetime) People who were to be arrested if the Jerries did manage to invade us. Dear Noel Coward was on their ‘Blacklist’ as an ‘Undesirable and Homosexual’ Gay people do not want to be constantly reminded that they are Gay, they just want to get on with their lives.

  29. Brian Burton 12 Mar 2009, 4:51pm

    I must admit that ‘Gays,’ over generations and even centuries have aquitted themselves rather magnificently in all walks of life. As far back as Alexandra The Great, who lost his male lover in a drowning accident while making war on Ejipt and all else in the known world at that time. In more modern times we have had a Secretary General of the United Nations Dag Hammerchold (died in plane crash) ‘Your Country Needs You’ General Kitchiner (killed 1917) Cecil Rhodes (Founder of now Zimbabwi) The Duke Of Kent (Killed 1942 in RAF Transport) I could go on untill the cows come home but I wont.

  30. tom riddle 23 Mar 2009, 2:19am

    Greg Barker:one of the nicest MP’s?! A man who hid he was gay from everyone, tricked a millionairess into marrying him then dumped her for a male designer and then dumped the designer for a 21 year old Greek boy? You have got to be kidding. At least we see he has been kept out of shadow cabinet by his ‘pal’ DC..maybe he will shuffle off soon.

  31. Brian Burton 23 Mar 2009, 11:55am

    Maybe Greg Barker is seeking sexual perfection? The answer is: Ar’nt we all!

  32. Brian: Regarding your comment dated March 12, I would be willing to listen to you till the cows come home simply because you are such a good listener yourself, and you obviously have taken the time to read about the gay phenomena from an historical perspective. Not everybody has. It doesn’t matter that it was Hadrian, not Alexander, who lost his lover, Antinous, to the waters of the Nile. Same-sex relationships have been present at all times and in every culture. No civilization, except those influenced by a misinterpreted phrase or two from the Old Testament, has criminalized and persecuted us. For example, in Ancient Crete, adolescent boys were encouraged by their parents to compete for the attention of an older, well-established man, in order to become a valuable, committed and respected member of society. There too, the list goes on and on, and the cows are still a long, long way from home. Finally, I too do not want to be constantly reminded that I am gay; I am so much more than that. Warm regards.

  33. Brian Burton 24 Mar 2009, 12:43pm

    Jean-Paul, Thank you for your thoughts on us and the ancients. I would not have minded at all, a boy from Crete chasing me around the block! I did not like adults much when I was a kid. The main reason being, most of the men wanted to put a long, hard preasent in my little hot hand! once they had me by my self. Things they would be Jailed for nowadays. But, we kids were always too scared to mention such behaviour to enyone. But,liaisons followed later and were always great. By the way Jean-Paul, I’m sure I am right about Alexandrea (He was a few centuaries before Hadrian) the Roman Emperor. Hadrian’s men built a wall in the North of England in the first centuary A.D. Hadrian’s wall is still there. The wall was built to hold back the ‘Wild Men From The North’ The Scotish Clans ofcourse. Speaking of Romans, some school children, ages about 13-14, were asked what they knew about World War 2. They thought WW2 was when the Romans came! They do not teach kids modern history do they? So-Long for now Jean Paul.

  34. Brian Burton 24 Mar 2009, 5:04pm

    Jean-Paul. Have you heard of Robbie Ross? A close friend and ex-lover of Oscar Wilde. You can read up about him on Wikipedia.

  35. Brian, of course you’re right. I’ll check my references and get back to you. Who’s Oscar Wilde?

  36. Brian, by the way I don’t believe the Cretans were prone to pedophilia. I apologize if I made it sound that way. It was a bad choice of words, «adolescent», I mean, and I commend you for your normal reaction. The boys would have had to be in their late teens because the test was to jump backwards over a charging bull. Imagine how that would look on a curriculum vitae, eh!

  37. Brian Burton 24 Mar 2009, 11:03pm

    Jean-paul, Oscar Wilde was the first known Homosexual to be sentenced to two years in Prison for Homosexuality,(the love that dare not speak it’s name) is what he called it. Boys were bribed to turn Kings evidence at his trial by Lord Queensbury (He of the boxing Queensbury rules.) That was in 1895. Osca wilde was met at the Prison gates on his release by ‘Robbie Ross’ and Osca went to live in Paris where he died in 1900 of meningitis. Robbie died suddenly in 1917 age about 48 or 49.

  38. Brian, Thanks for the enlightenment. I seem to recall my English Lit professor saying something about Wilde’s last words: «What dreadful wallpaper!». Also, isn’t he buried in that famous cemetery in Paris, and didn’t he actually share glass of bubbly with Walt Whiteman when he visted the USA. But what exactly is he famous for?

  39. Brian Burton 26 Mar 2009, 9:47pm

    Jean-Paul, Osca wilde is famouse for his plays books and wit. He was married with two children but his Homosexual instincts had always been there. He had a long passionate affaire with Lord Alfred Douglass whom Osca called ‘Bosie’ and his Father was Lord Queensberry who hated Wilde with a vengence. Eventually, Queensberry brought down Osca and wallowed in Osca’s disgrace and imprisonment for two years. Osca wrote the plays: Lady Windermeres Fan, The Importance o Being Ernist, The Ideal Husband, a novel called ‘A portrait Of Dorian Grey and sonnets and proes and much more. Can you imagine a man like him saying: “I can resist anything exept temtation.” When he was released from Prison, Robbie Ross met him at the gates and helped him to get to Paris to live. Eventually Bosie joined him and they were photographed together on one of the Boulavardes. Mor later Jean-Paul.

  40. Brian. Thank you. I can pick it up from there. I love history and so do you. There are many other wonderful articles in this highly informative newspaper (PinkNews) that you can be commenting on, and please do. I hope to meet you again on some other issue. Best regards to your partner.

  41. Brian Burton 27 Mar 2009, 2:13pm

    Jean-Paul, Robbie Ross’s Ashes have been intered in Osca’s tomb in the Paris Cemitary.

  42. Do you know when? and by whom? That’s incredible! I seem to recall my father telling me that Wilde had once said something like: I believe excessive drinking can produce all the symptoms of drunkenness! He was known as quite a witty man, wasn’t he, and a gentleman as well.

  43. Brian Burton 1 Apr 2009, 4:49pm

    Jean Paul, sorry for delay. In 1950 Robbie Ross’s Ashes was interred it Wilde’s Tomb by admirers.

  44. I notice that the word “bisexual” wasn’t used to describe a single one of those people. The only bi person I could identify was Simon Hughes. Maybe it’s just that I’m out of the loop, and everyone else can see the Bs as well as the Ls and Gs.

    I only sound cranky and peeved because I am.

  45. Bent Sauer(Denmark) 23 Nov 2009, 5:13pm

    Dear friends in GB – I don’t understand your interrest in the sex-orientation. Damn ! aren’t they just duing their job?

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