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UK

  • 27th June 2007

    Tony Blair resigns as an MP to become peace envoy

    Tony Blair will resign as an MP

    5:35 PM — Tony Blair has resigned as the MP for Sedgefield just hours after resigning as Prime Minister.He was confirmed at 5pm as the new envoy for the Quartet (EU, USA, UN and Russia) on resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.Mr Blair, who has introduced a wide range of gay rights in his ten years in power, was not expected to remain in the House of Commons.

  • New Prime Minister’s first speech in full

    Gordon Brown addressed reporters outside No 10 Downing St this afternoon in his first speech as Prime Minister.

    3:38 PM — Gordon Brown addressed reporters outside No 10 Downing St this afternoon in his first speech as Prime Minister:"I have just accepted the invitation of Her Majesty the Queen to form a government."This will be a new government with new priorities and I have been privileged to have been granted the great opportunity to serve my country."

  • Gordon Brown takes office as Prime Minister

    Mr Brown pledged to reach across party divides to work in the national interest.

    3:05 PM — The Queen has asked Gordon Brown to form a government. The new Prime Minister spent nearly an hour with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.Arriving at Downing St just before 3pm he told journalists: "this will be a new Government with new priorities."Mr Brown appeared with his wife Sarah outside No 10 Downing St, but unlike his predecessor his children were not present.

  • LGBT abuse group secures Justice funding

    Galop has worked closely with the police and were asked to sit on the Metropolitan Police's community Gold Group after the murder of Jody Debrowski.

    1:15 PM — An organisation that helps victims of hate crimes, sexual abuse and violence have been given over £35,000 by the new Ministry of Justice.Galop's award comes at a time when homophobic hate crimes are widely under-reported due to fear of the victims, humiliation or lack of information on the importance of reporting.A lack of confidence in police and statutory services is also a factor.

  • Standing ovation for Tony Blair at last PMQ

    “One of the outstanding Prime Ministers in my political lifetime and the most politically effective the party has ever had.“

    12:45 PM — The Prime Minister gave a vintage performance during his last appearance at the dispatch box in the House of Commons.Flanked by departing Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and incoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Mr Blair began by paying tribute to three soldiers who have died in action in the last week, and to the Armed Forces as a whole."I am truly sorry about the dangers they face today," he told MPs.

  • Gays urged to think green at Pride

    photo: kyle simourd@flickr.com

    11:20 AM — With a poll showing that only one in five Londoners claim to be doing anything to tackle climate change, The Environment Agency joins this Saturday's Pride to encourage the LGBT community to act.Led by Lisa Pinney, head of the Environment Agency LGBT network, more than twenty members and friends are taking part, celebrating the agency's diversity and helping promote their work.Marching under the banner, 'Proud to be at Pride,' a separate stall in Soho will allow people to take part in the world's largest survey on climate change.

  • Blair’s record on gay rights praised

    Mr Blair is expected to immediately resign as an MP, meaning today's PMQ will be his last appearance in the House of Commons.

    11:10 AM — The government's progress on gay rights has been praised by leading members of the gay community and politicians from all sides.Tony Blair leaves office today after ten years in office. During his tenure the rights of LGBT people in Britain have been transformed.Mr Blair is to take up a new role as a peace envoy to the Middle East on behalf of the UN, America, Russia and the EU - an announcement on the job will be made later today.

  • TURING: Forty years on 1

    It is tomfoolery to think that the rest of the world will pay attention to the societal dynamics of Britain in a way that international media does to those of the United States.

    10:40 AM — Sexual minorities in the UK have every right to exercise and celebrate their hard-won rights. But the time has not yet come to take things for granted.Insofar as one considers the historical period dominated by the three major monotheistic religions, homosexuals have always been the subjects of pillory, hate, persecution, and unusually severe punishments

  • 26th June 2007

    London Pride reception held at City Hall

    Mr Livingstone also spoke about the rise of homophobia across Europe. photo: joe roberts

    6:30 PM — At an official gay Pride function in London last night, the city's mayor Ken Livingstone told an audience of 400 people that he will be taking part in the march this year- but cannot decide on whether or not to appear on a float.The reception, sponsored by Morgan Stanley, brought together Pride organisers, City Hall staff and volunteers and others from across the LGBT community.Mr Livingstone spoke of his long support for gay rights.

  • Blair to step down as an MP

    Traditionally former Prime Ministers are offered a seat in the House of Lords once they leave the Commons.

    6:15 PM — The Prime Minister will resign as MP for Sedgefield within hours of leaving Downing St, it has been reported.He is expected to take up a new peace-keeping role in the Middle East on behalf of the international community almost immediately.It was expected that Mr Blair, who has introduced a wide range of gay rights in his ten years in power, would not remain in the House of Commons after the next general election.

  • Labour gays voted Cruddas for deputy

    LGBT Labour is an affiliated society of the Labour party, meaning its members can vote along with members of trade unions and other societies.

    3:36 PM — A breakdown of the votes cast by the members of the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (LGBT Labour) has revealed that backbench candidate Jon Cruddas was their choice for Deputy Leader.Justice Minister Harriet Harman won the contest to succeed John Prescott on Sunday, after five rounds of voting.She eventually took the lead with 50.43% to Education Secretary Alan Johnson's 49.56%

  • Anti-gay Tory defects to Labour 10

    In March 2007 he was one of the Tory MPs who defied their own front  bench and tried to stop the Sexual Orientation Regulations in House of Commons.

    3:15 PM — An MP with a hostile voting record on gay issues has defected from the Conservatives to the Labour party.Quentin Davies, a former Tory Shadow Cabinet member, has been an MP for 20 years and represents Grantham, the home town of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.He announced his defection the day before Tony Blair is to leave office, and attacked Tory leader David Cameron in his resignation letter.

  • Sarah Waters nominated for UK’s oldest book prize

    Waters studied for a PhD on lesbian and gay fiction at the University of London

    2:58 PM — The writer who brought lesbian fiction to greater prominence with her novel Tipping The Velvet, is on the short list for this year's James Tait Black Memorial Prize.Sarah Waters, 40, has been nominated for her most recent work, The Night Watch, which explores the lives of several lesbian, gay and straight characters in 1940's London.It has been widely praised for its stunning recreation of the Blitz and life in the capital during the immediate post-war period.

  • Welsh gay community’s silent victims of abuse

    The investigation comes in response to news that recorded crimes against gay and lesbian people in Wales are on the increase.

    1:45 PM — A new BBC Wales investigation has revealed that as many as 80% of the gay community suffer verbal or physical abuse in their lifetime.Yet according to Home Office figures only one in ten of these incidents will be reported.The investigation comes in response to news that recorded crimes against gay and lesbian people in Wales are on the increase.

  • Comment: Another year, another Pride, another hangover

    Is Pride a political rally, is it a party, does it mean anything at all?

    11:30 AM — For many of us waking up the next morning, any sense of pride has disappeared long ago in a heady mix of sunshine, cheap cocktails, and naked flesh.This is something to celebrate. A hangover fades much quicker than the scars of those brave enough to march the streets of Moscow, Riga or Warsaw.At the same time I cannot help thinking that Pride has the potential to mean something more to more people than just a nice day out once a year.

  • Smoking a real drag, say queens 1

    Smoking a pack of 20 will save smokers a whopping £1850, which could for example be spent on much-needed make-up to cover wrinkles that smoking has caused.

    11:00 AM — Drag queens' services have been employed by the NHS in Yorkshire to strut on to the scene and smoke out the last ill-fated pro-smoking campaigners as England goes smoke-free in less than a week.Drag queens Precious, Miss Blanche, Portia and Danny Cher from the Birdcage nightclub in Leeds will encourage people to kick the habit and take their 'last drag' as this butt of contention is finally doused in the favour of healthier lungs for both active and passive smokers.

  • 75% of gay kids in faith schools suffer homophobic bullying

    The survey of 1,145 young people was conducted by the Schools Health Education Unit for Stonewall.

    12:01 AM — Homophobic bullying plagues the majority of UK schools and shocking levels of bullying are meted out to school pupils and teachers who either are gay or perceived to be gay.That is the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried by gay equality organisation Stonewall.Nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of such harassment.

  • 25th June 2007

    Soho hosts day out for gay youth

    21st century gay teenagers are certainly not lacking in confidence and many said they would be attending Pride London and were looking forward to the joining in the parade.

    4:01 PM — Life was a picnic for London's LGBT youth communities when their annual gathering in Soho Square attrated more than one hundred people, several as young as 15.When the rain got bad everyone sheltered under the trees taking the picnic with them, luckily the downpour didn't last long.George Allawi, 18, a youth worker said: "I don't think rain will stop us now and I don't think it will stop us next week at Pride."

  • Top Tory gives away gay friend at partnership ceremony 2

    Since Labour came to power he has voted against the equalisation of consent, the abolition of Section 28 and the rights of gay couples to adopt.

    3:30 PM — David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, has revealed that he recently attended a civil partnership ceremony.The MP for Haltemprice and Howden is seen as more right-wing than David Cameron, who defeated him in the contest for Conservative leader in 2005.In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Mr Davis claims to be a social liberal.

  • RAF uniforms banned from London Pride

    The MoD is keen to promote all the armed services as good employers for minority groups.

    2:13 PM — The Royal Air Force has announced that personnel who wear uniform to march in the Pride parade in London will face disciplinary action.A letter from Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, the Chief of the Air Staff, to station commanders says that LGB airmen and women can attend Pride but not in uniform.Last week the Chief of the General Staff has issued orders banning LGB Army staff from marching in uniform at the event this Saturday.

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