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Ken Livingstone: ‘Riddled with gays’ comment was a compliment

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  1. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Talk about digging yourself in! What was the justification again, ” light-hearted and should not be taken seriously” and that ” that he (Livingstone) and Boris Johnson “do say what we think”. So by your own admission, you really DO think that it’s OK to use the word “riddled” to refer to a homosexual community within a community? Well Ken, I DO take what you said seriously, and I cannot be ‘light-hearted’ about it. What about an apology Ken, or is this too much for an ego such as your to stand? Let’s just draw a line under this now – and you!

    1. filange regina 9 Feb 2012, 10:52am

      wholley agree. I demand an apology ken or Resign!

      1. I demand an apology for his links with Yusuf Al Qaradawi.

        I think this ‘riddled’ business is a storm in a teacup. And I don’t really care it.

        His links to religious extremists who want to kill us, is the story here.

        1. Fanii Minogue 9 Feb 2012, 12:38pm

          Damn – I clicked the thumbs down on this comment when I meant the thumbs up and now I can’t edit that!!!

    2. Paddyswurds 9 Feb 2012, 1:26pm

      …..”Well Ken, I DO take what you said seriously, and I cannot be ‘light-hearted’ about it”.
      Would you by any chance be a Tory, who cant wait for breakfast every day so you can find something to be offended about. Look up the word “riddled” and you will find no reference to disease. The Tory party is riddled with toffee nosed twits (like you?) who have been silent on Tory homophobia for eons. Grow up and shouting about the cuts for the poor and the largesse to the rich bankers would suit you better but i doubt you would be doing that anytime soon.

      1. Ditto

    3. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 2:47am

      This is predictably bollocks…

  2. I can see the hole is going to get deeper that he is digging for himself on this one. Why not just say. ‘I used the wrong words. Sorry.’
    Because sorry, but I find the words ‘riddled’ and ‘indulging’ offensive.
    Between Boris and Ken, it’ll be like voting for tweedle dum and tweedle dee.

    1. Vauxhall-Boy 9 Feb 2012, 12:05pm

      He made an off the cuff comment and used ill advised words.

      He should apologise for it and this whole non-event can move on.

      Trying to suggest that “riddled” is a compliment makes him look ridiculous and homophobic.

      Ken’s support of gay people is clear. He is a fool if he does not apologise.

      1. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 2:49am

        If you actually read what he said its not at ALL ‘ridiculous’ to use the word ‘riddled’…

        I have one thing to say, people: RIGHT-WING PRESS AGENDA

        1. Vauxhall-Boy 10 Feb 2012, 9:45am

          I did read it in full.

          I continue to think that the use of the word riddled was ridiculous and wrong. It is a loaded word and Ken SHOULD know better. He definitely ought to apologise.

  3. 1. Does Ken Livingstone denounce murderous homophobic religious extremist Yusuf Al Qaradawi?

    2. Has Ken Livingstone apologised for his robust defence of his links to murderous homophobic religious extremist Yusuf Al Qaradawi?

    3. Has Ken Livingstone promised to never again knowing have associations with murderous homophobic religious extremists?

    If the answer to any of these questions is ‘No’ then no sane LGBT person should even consider voting for Ken Livingstone.

  4. “Gay Tory MP Alan Duncan said: “Many of us have managed to take this issue out of politics. It’s inexcusable for him to try to reintroduce it.” ”

    Has that disgusting gay Uncle Tom, Alan Duncan condemned the unacceptable delay on marriage equality by the Tory Party?

    I hardly think he is a champion of gay rights.

    Alan Duncan is a slimy self-serving, greedy, corporaten wh0re!

    1. I have to ask, if a slight delay in introducing equal marriage in one term of a Coalition Government is “unacceptable”, what was the last 13 years of Labour Government where we got fobbed off with Civil Partnerships?

      1. Oh behave – AS IF the Law and Justice Tories would have introduced even civil partnerships if they had been in power – didn’t a huge percentage of the Tories vote against CP’s.

        That puerile little wretch Alan Duncan would have remained cowerng in his closet unless the Tories PR company told the party that being reactionary homophobic bigots was costing them votes.

        CP’s are inadequate NOW – they were OK at the time – the mistake the Labour Party made was that they thought they were the end point instead of a steppnig stone.

        Had The Law and Justice Tories been in power at the time they would not have introduced CP’s; Alan Duncan would still be in the closet and section 28 may still be on the books.

        What is that pathetic loser Alan Duncan doing NOW to introduce marriage equality this year – or is he too busy giving BJ’s (of the metaphorical kind of course) to bankers?

        1. No, a majority of Tory MPs voted for the civil partnership act and MORE shadow Tory MPs voted for the act than in the Labour cabinet.

          The rest of your message makes little sense, it’s you ranting away tlaking about what you’d like to eb the case, rather than what is the case. Grow up!

      2. Lib Dems were fully behind civil partnership (for gay and straight people) They did NOT support equal civil marriage rights.

        1. The Lib Dems were the first political party (out of the main three) to support same-sex marriage. I find it very hard to believe that same-sex marriage would be on the cards right now if there was a majority Tory or even Labour government.

          1. Ask the students how they feel about the LibDems.

          2. @Beberts

            Well I’m a student and gay. The Lib Dems’ stance on same-sex marriage is more important to me than tuition fees. Whatever the issue with tuition fees (and I don’t want to get into that here, this is an LGBT site, not a university site, the relevance is about gay marriage) it doesn’t change the fact that the Lib Dems were the first party to publicly support gay marriage. I have no doubt that same-sex marriage wouldn’t even be being considered now if the Lib Dems weren’t in government.

  5. Sounds more like people have taken offence from a statement without listening to the entire comment. People have got to stop getting up in arms over a sound bite without listening to the entire thing.

    1. I agree 100%. This ‘riddled’ story is a storm in a teacup.

      When it comes to LGBT issues the glaring unresolved issue is Ken Livingstone’s defence of a man who wants to see the gay community murdered.

      1. I would rather have a man willing to talk to these people rather that just ignore them and hoping they would go away.

        1. What is the benefit for the LGBT community in the Mayor of London talking to a man who wanted to murder us then; and who STILL wants to murder us.

          It’s not like Ken’s betrayal of the LGBT community in linking up with murderous homophobic extremists has changed that extremists views. Yusuf Al Qaradawi remains steadfast in his desire to kill us.

          And Livingstone continues to defend his link to Qaradawi.

          1. Ever heard the phrase “keep your friends close and your enemies closer?”

          2. At andrew , ever heard the phrase “God protect me from my friends, from my enemies ,i can protect myself” this is a more appropriate phrase for livingstone in this case.

        2. Ken needs Muslim votes. He needs the backing of tower hamlets. This is dog whistle politics

          1. Tower hamlets , which is of course “riddled” with muslims , like most of london , using livingstones interpretation. Livingstone, the worm that turned.

      2. Ben Foster 9 Feb 2012, 11:31am

        dAVID, I agree with your stand about this islamic homophobe whose name i cannot be bothered to spell this close to my lunch. But you do seem to be annoying people here by repeating the point over and over. Maybe it is time to move forward on the issue. Perhaps you should contact Ken Livingstone and ASK him the questions you listed above, then report back his response or lack of response, and let us discuss that. He must have a campaign office. If he does ‘surgeries’ perhaps you could go face to face with him and request an answer. Then we would have more to go on.

        1. I am repeating the point over and over as it remains an unresolved issue when it comes to Ken Livingstone’s reliationship with the LGBT community.

          And Ken Livingstone point blank refuses to address the issue.

          Not good enough.

          Until Ken Livingstone apologises for this appalling betrayal and makes a pledge to never again knowingly have dealings with murderous homoophobes, then this issue will follow him around and people will quite justifiably question his allegedly gay-friendliness.

          If he thinks that saying ‘I was nice to you 20 years ago when no-one else was’ absolves him of responsibility then he is completelly delusional.

          1. Ben Foster 9 Feb 2012, 5:27pm

            yes, but I don’t think he reads Pink News, so he isn’t getting the message, is my point.

          2. Vauxhall-Boy 9 Feb 2012, 6:33pm


            I wish dAVID would contact Ken directly instead of telling us DOZENS of times about Yusuf Al Qaradawi. Most (if not all of us already knew) and have been told over a dozen times today. Its Ken this issue needs to be taken up with!

          3. Well said, but still ken garners support from certain self loathing lgbt, astonishing.

  6. Tory party was also totally riddled with straights indulging in heterosexuality and adultery, cast your mind back to the lovely Edwina Curry and John Major indulging in heterosexual hank panky on top of the prime ministerial desk.

    1. “Hanky panky” even

    2. James Incer 9 Feb 2012, 4:40pm

      The affair was before Major was PM

  7. Craig Denney 9 Feb 2012, 11:42am

    May I call you Ken? Ken, I think you should make-up by spending some time with the Gay Community, maybe you and Mrs B could go out to a Gay Bar or something as London is riddled with Gay Bars?

    1. Vauxhall-Boy 9 Feb 2012, 12:11pm

      Ken did a great performance at the RVT a few years back!

      1. I’m guessing that was well before his paid gig for iranian channel tv.

    2. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 2:58am

      You clearly know nothing about Ken Livingston Mr Craig!

      Perhaps you should do your own research before you jump to whatever the Daily Mail or the rest of the bigoted gay masses on here are telling you to believe….


  8. Anyone suggesting Ken Livingstone is homophobic is simply ignoring history. He has fought for gay equality for decades, been attacked by the tabloids for it, sued Westminster council for removing rainbow flags, supported Pride events at City Hall, gone on Pride marches and brought in Civil partnerships in London in 2001 before anyone else.

    It is absurd to suggest he is homophobic.

    1. The fact that Ken Livingstone was gay friendly before it was popuiar to be, is in the year 2012, completely irrelevant.

      His once controversial views on gay rights are now mainstream views.

      He is a complete moron if he thinks associating himself with murderous homophobes is excusable because of how he behaved 20 years earlier.

      If he does then he is both delusional and stupid.

  9. ken has used a dog whistle to appeal to anti gay people. be tried the same when he called a Jewish reporter a concentration camp guard. he loves his Muslims and has lost the election . of only paddick piled his finger out and gave us some real policies

    1. Suddenly Last Bummer 9 Feb 2012, 2:27pm

      Well said James! and the ‘dog whistle’ analogy is spot on.

    2. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 2:53am

      What a crock of lying sh!t…
      If that were true how on EARTH do you think that was designed to ‘make him look good’.

      These things are ALWAYS about context…and context is the one thing you lot seem hell-bent on ignoring…(because context gives us MEANING)

      …things that make yer go hmmm…

  10. There’s nothing ‘light hearted’ about the New Statesman. It’s dour, anti-semitic & Islamist-supporting. I’m astounded why anyone (who isn’t a jihadi) would read such biased filth.

    1. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 2:55am

      (a little more Daily Mail perhaps…? lol)

  11. LGBTLondonequality 9 Feb 2012, 12:28pm

    This so-called story is taken out of context and politically driven. All Ken was saying was that despite there being lots of lesbian and gay people in the Tory party it wasn’t until the Labour Party was elected in 1997, introduced LGBT rights legislation (including overturning the hideous Section 28) and had out MPs that the Tories followed suit.

    Labour Party officials are right to describe Ken as “perhaps the most avowedly pro-gay politician in the history of the world”. And shame on Brian Paddick for suggesting otherwise. Just remember, while the Tories – including their gay and lesbian members – were demonising every minority, with support from a viciously homophobic press throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Ken was the first UK politician to stand up for lesbian and gay people and LGBT rights. Ken attended one of the first gay pride marches in the 1970s and gave out the first ever grants to lesbian and gay projects like the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard when running the GLC.

    1. LGBTLondonequality 9 Feb 2012, 12:31pm

      Once Mayor of London (2000-2008) Ken sparked the introduction of civil partnerships with the London partnerships register, threatened legal action against Bromley Council for their opposition to civil partnerships, successfully tackled Westminster Council when they banned rainbow flags in Soho, developed and led a free Pride event in central London, showed solidarity with LGBT movements across Eastern Europe when their Pride marches were banned or attacked and funded preventative work to tackle homophobic bullying in schools and anti-LGBT hate crime on the streets.

      Judge Ken on his record

      1. LGBTLondonequality 9 Feb 2012, 12:33pm

        And don’t forget Boris Johnson’s past support for Section 28 and saying that if a loving, committed relationship between two men could be called marriage then why not “three men and a dog”. And unlike Ken, as Mayor, Boris Johnson has not attended all Pride marches, scrapped the annual Pride Reception at City Hall, stopped funding for Soho Pride and removed the GLA from the scrutiny of the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (which under Ken had seen the GLA come out as the best employer in the public sector). It is all very well to employ out gay men in high-profile positions but there has been no further progress for LGBT Londoners in the past 4 years. And Boris is also an enthusiastic supporter of the government he voted for, including all its public sector cuts, which are having a disproportionate impact on LGBT people in the capital and across the UK.

      2. Fanii Minogue 9 Feb 2012, 12:43pm

        “Judge Ken on his record”

        That’s exactly what I AM doing, and it’s why I would never ever vote for this repellent little man again – anyone who hugs murderous homophobes then uses public money to smear Peter Tatchell as an “Islamophobe” for criticising him for this does not deserve one single LGBT vote

        1. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 2:56am

          This is ALL (really irritating) nonsense…

    2. You call yuorself LGBTLondonquality yet you sound like a mouth piece for the Labour party.

      If you’re comfortable with standing on a platform with Livingstone and his homophobic scum bags who want me killed then be my guest but because you claim to be LGBTLondon quality, don’t for a second think you represent all gay people, because you do not.

      1. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 3:03am

        You bloody dildo…Grow a brain eh? This is COMPLETE and utter RUBBISH
        Do you even know what ‘represent’ actually even means?
        The name was LGBT London EQuality – Im assuming its because they actually believe that EQUALITY should be promoted.
        I doubt very much whether they represent anything like the ignorant drivel you (and shamefully so many others) are spouting on this subject.
        There is no excuse for ignorance on this issue when it is so vociferously screamed from every orifice…

  12. Gay people in London have two options. They can either have Boris or Ken as mayor, the other candidates have no chance.

    Therefore do we want city hall to continue without Islamic extremists in the realm of it like now or do we want Ken back inviting all sorts of nasty creatures to City hall, especially his friends from Tower Hamlets?

    1. The other candidates have no chance?

      Probably true.

      But I don’t want to vote for a homophobic Hooray Henry (Boris) or for the defender of a murderous extremist (Ken).

      So I guess I have no choice but to vote for a different candidate.

  13. marc bates 9 Feb 2012, 1:28pm

    Having heard ken speak on gay rights, and seen him actively campaignfor gay rights i know he is not homophobic!

    1. Please explain Livingstone’s rancid support of the lunatic Yusuf Al Qaradawi.

  14. Peter Tatchell 9 Feb 2012, 1:35pm

    Ken Livingstone is not homophobic. His use of the word ‘riddled’ has to be judged in context. It was clearly not used with any homophobic intent. All parties have lots of gay & bisexual MPs, as Ken noted. He is right to state that there were many gay MPs in the Tory party, from the backbenches to the cabinet. After Labour’s victory in 1997 many gay Labour MPs came out, while gay Tories remained in the closet & continued to vote against gay equality. Ken just stated the facts.

    1. If Ken is not homophobic ,and i note and remember many of his past credentials regarding support for LGBT issues here and accross europe, then why oh why does he have his arm around the notoriously homophobic Yusuf Al Qaradawi ? There must be more gay friendly muslims with influence in that community? It makes no sence to any member of the LGBT community, and i asume yourself, and that if he continues with this ‘relationship’ then why would the LGBT community place an X in Kens box?

      1. Because Ken uses the gay community for votes and would sell his own mother for another 5 minutes on TV

      2. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 3:09am

        What you’re saying JW is exactly the same line taken against Ken in the 80s when the tabloids (News of the World I seem to recall) found out that ‘Ken’ (ie the GLC) was talking to Sinn Fein. They labelled him a terrorist lover…(complete bollocks)
        They said ‘how dare he ‘talk’ to ‘the enemy’?
        Actually opening dialogue with Sinn Fein was the necessary component to bring about peace in Northern Ireland. Mo Mowlam carried on that tradition and was herself, afterwards politically ostracised inspite of the great work she had done to move the situation forward.
        There are vested interests in this country (and others) who would prefer we all tagged along behind the accepted Party line – Ken Livingston has never been one of those people…

    2. The whole controversy about the word ‘riddled’ is indeed a ridiculous storm in a teacup.

      Livingstone’s continued defence of extremist Yusuf Al Qaradawi is not however.

      It is perfectly reasonable to expect the mayor of London to make a commitment to never again knowingly associate with and defend anyone who calls for our death.

    3. Vauxhall-Boy 9 Feb 2012, 7:36pm


      If Boris Johnson has used a sentence with the words “riddled” and “homosexual” in such close proximity would you have had such a laid back response?

      1. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 3:11am

        If he had used them in the same context then it would actually be the same outcome – although I suspect that the Daily Mail reading fraternity wouldnt actually be jumping up and down about it in anything like the same fashion…

  15. I’m not sure if he is a homophobe or not…i just plain don’t like the man
    Boris is funny, witty and energetic, no wonder he was voted mayor

    1. Boris was also a toxic bigot until the PR company representing the Tories instructed them to evolve on the issue of gay rights to gain more votes. Boris would sell us down the river as soon as it became convenient.

  16. Ken trying to appeal to the homophobes, then saying “oops slip of the tongue” meanwhile he has got the hint of homophobia across. All things to all men Ken.

  17. Suddenly Last Bummer 9 Feb 2012, 2:24pm

    ‘Riddled’ doesn’t strike me as being a complimentary word in this context. Ken was always a vile odious creep.

  18. whymewhyme 9 Feb 2012, 2:40pm

    fine to be riddled – wasn’t it promoting the stuff that was so odious in the 80s. in that war ken stood us proud so …. i’ll stand by my man …

    1. Why are you still living in the 1980’s?

      Don’t you think Livingstone’s defence and support of a murderous homophobic extremist should be a cause of major concern for our communities?

  19. Peter Tatchell 9 Feb 2012, 3:21pm

    Ken is correct to suggest that in the 1980s and 90s the Conservative Party was avowedly anti-gay, while having many gay MPs. Lots of Tories opposed gay equality, despite their own homosexuality. They were hypocrites & homophobes. Ken is right to point this out.
    In recent years, the Conservative leadership has embraced gay equality, which is commendable. However, only two weeks ago it was reported that 100 Tory MPs intend to block David Cameron’s plan to end the ban on same-sex marriage. They still oppose gay equality.

    1. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 2:46am

      The very fact that people are down-voting Peter Tatchell along with me and Ken Livingston speaks volumes…

      ie that your vote cannot be trusted to be representative of any kind of factual based reaction to this non-story…

      You lot love nothing better than a bit of knee-jerk racism and Islamophobia and use almost every opportunity to demonstrate it on here…

      You should all be bloody ashamed of yourselves…

      1. Vauxhall-Boy 10 Feb 2012, 9:54am


        I do not see the link between Al Qaradawi and Ken’s “riddled” comments, nor do I understand why anyone would defend the use of the word riddled to describe gay people – its wrong, it shouldnt happen – and even if the intention was honourable, a political operator should have known the risk such a word would lead to and avoided it. Having read all of Kens comment, I still believe Ken needs to apologise and you and Peter are wrong in defending him. That does not make me Islamophobic and I find it offensive that you suggest that anyone disagreeing with the party line that Peter or Ken (or you!) are right must be racist or bigtoed or wrong. For me, Ken was wrong. Peter and you are wrong to defend him. The issue of the Islamic cleric is entirely separate.

    2. Peter has failed to name 100 Tory MPs and his source is complete and utter speculation – pathetic argument!



    1. James Incer 9 Feb 2012, 4:44pm

      If you don’t like it don’t read it. They can publish whatever they like.

    2. But they have done…..

      Biased towards the Tories? Even if they are why does that matter? Most forms of media have some sort of political leaning.

      The fact that you are not intelligent enough to read a story and form your own opinion says more about you than it does about pink news

      1. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 3:13am

        since when did questioning something become grounds for idiocy..?
        …I know how you voted…

    3. Do you know what happens to “pink people” in the beacon of Islam?

  21. George Broadhead 9 Feb 2012, 6:06pm

    As far as I’m concerned, Ken blotted his copy book well and truly when, as London Mayor, he warmly welcomed to City Hall that homophobic Islamic fright Yusuf Qaradawi.

    Qaradawi’s views on homosexuality are given in Wikipedia:
    Al-Qaradawi believes that homosexuality should be punishable by death. In his online site, Al-Qaradawi says, “it should be clear that this man committed two heinous crimes: 1) homosexuality, and 2) murder. Each crime is sufficient to warrant death penalty. In addition, this man has severed ties of kinship by seducing and killing his nephew.”

    On June 5, 2006, on the Al Jazeera program Sharia and Life, al-Qaradawi (a regular on the program) reiterated orthodox views on homosexuality. When asked about the punishment for people who “practise liwaat (sodomy) or sihaaq (lesbian activity)”, al-Qaradawi replied: “The same punishment as any sexual pervert – the same as the adulterer.” The punishment for adultery is stoning.

    In an interview with Der Spiegel, Qaradawi said that his attitude towards homosexuality is the same as that found in Christianity. In the interview he stated, “One year ago, there was a demonstration against me in London because I spoke out against homosexuality. People seem to have forgotten that it wasn’t me who came up with this mindset. It’s part of God’s order spoken of by Moses and even mentioned by Jesus.”

    Ken must have known about these views but he totally rejected the widespread protests made about the welcome from LGBT activists (including Peter Tatchell of course) and has never apologised for it.

  22. Would you like a shovel Mr Livingstone ?

  23. Really? Never heard ‘riddled with’ used as a ‘compliment’ before.

    Riddled with woodworm.
    Riddled with mice.
    Riddled with rats.
    Riddled with lice.
    Riddled with ‘gays’???

    If anything the Tories are riddled with right-wing hate and fear mongers, and this idiot has just handed the Mayor of London back to Boris on a plate..

    Drop out of the race for Mayor Livingstone, your career is now over.

  24. Staircase2 10 Feb 2012, 2:40am

    This is a non-story being whipped up by the Right-Wing guard prior to the London Mayoral Elections…

    Its pretty obvious that Boris stands a good chance of losing this time so they are using smear tactics to muddy the waters and thereby tarnish Ken’s campaign.

    The very fact that so many on this board are getting all het up (literally!) about a comment he made in passing which was actually condemning Tory hypocrisy and saying how much better the world is when LGBT people are able to be out and comfortable with their sexuality in public office is ludicrous..

    Mind you – limited mindsets do abound both in the Tory Party, the right-wing press & on these very Pink News Comments boards…

    Things that make yer go hmmmm….

  25. burningworm 13 Feb 2012, 12:11pm

    It is not ostentatious to say the conservatives are riddled with gays. There was a campaign during the last election that saw primarily gay men come out as both gay and conservative. In that context the fact that the party is riddled with gays is someonwhat of an irony to gays who are not conservative or even political.

    I personally think conservatism is a mental disorder and being affiliated with any political party is affront to choice. Vote according to the issues not some gang colour and party affiliation.

  26. Ken Livingstone is Islamist promoting corrupt joke, who amplifies Jewish hatred to gain voters among the lefty conpiracy loons and the radical Muslims.

    If he gets in then expect more Sharia controleld zones in London.

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