The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) has announced that those running to become the first elected police and crime commissioner for Greater Manchester are due to take part in a hustings event for the LGBT community.
LGF, which is based in Manchester, says it will provide an opportunity for the public to hear how the candidates plan to tackle homophobic crime in the area.
The debate is taking place at the LGF’s centre on Richmond Street, Manchester, from 7pm – 8pm on Thursday 8 November.
With three weeks to go before England and Wales goes to the polls on 15 November to elect a brand new set of public representatives in 41 police force areas, stakeholders have been explaining how the initiative can benefit the LGBT community.
In a letter of support for last weekend’s hate crime vigil in London’s Trafalgar Square, Prime Minister David Cameron said the introduction of police and crime commissioners (PCCs) could help in the fight against hate crime.
Stonewall have also urged for the LGBT community to engage with the PCC elections, with the charity’s Chief Executive Ben Summerskill saying: “It’s absolutely essential that gay people engage with police and crime commissioners and have their say on 15 November.”
Earlier this week, former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Ian Blair urged for the public to boycott the elections because he fears the plans will lead to the “break up” of modern policing and will increase centralisation.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling responded by calling Lord Blair’s remarks “silly”.
PCCs will be paid a salary between £65,000 and £100,000.
The PCC candidates for Greater Manchester are:
Matt Gallagher – Liberal Democrats
Tony Lloyd – Labour Party
Roy Warren – Independent
Michael Winstanley – Conservative
Steven Woolfe – UK Independence Party
Tony Lloyd has stood down as the MP for Manchester Central to take part in the PCC contest and a by-election is due to take place on 15 November.
Matthew Sephton, the chair of LGBTory, has been selected as the Conservative candidate to contest the seat.
Lucy Powell is the candidate for Labour Party.
Marc Ramsbottom is the candidate for the Liberal Democrats.
The other candidates are as follows:
Chris Cassidy – UKIP
Peter Clifford – Communist League
Alex Davidson – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Loz Kaye – Pirate Party
Lee Holmes – People’s Democratic Party
Tom Dylan – Green Party
Eddy O’Sullivan – BNP