18th March 2008
Syrian claiming gay asylum faces deportation order 2
3:53 PM — A teenager from Syria who tried to claim asylum in the UK on the grounds of his sexual orientation has pleaded with the Home Office to reverse a deportation order.Jojo Jako Yakob claims he faces certain death if he is returned to his homeland.A deportation order was enacted against him after he was arrested for possession of a fake Belgian passport and placed in Polmont Young Offenders Institution in Scotland.
Who gets your vote for Mayor of London? 6
1:20 PM — PinkNews.co.uk is inviting readers to take part in our second Mayor of London poll.Today is the start of the official campaigning period for the election. Londoners will go to the polls on May 1st.Incumbent Ken Livingstone is running as the Labour candidate. Henley MP Boris Johnson is the Conservative party hopeful, while former Met police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick is standing for the Liberal Democrats.
Countdown to Mayor of London election begins
12:30 PM — The official campaign period for the Mayor of London election starts today. Londoners will go to the polls on May 1st.Incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone said that the election "is not Celebrity Big Brother" and referred to the terrorist attacks on the city in 2005 as indicative of the spirit of the capital.Boris Johnson said that as London's first Tory Mayor he would stand up to the national government and claimed the city has lost out on its share of government investment and resources.
Football fans banned for homophobic and racist abuse
12:02 PM — Nine Blackpool FC fans have been banned from their home ground for shouting homophobic and racist abuse during Saturday's match against Preston.Supporters of both teams complained about offensive chanting and police were asked to investigate.Following an ongoing investigation, the nine Blackpool fans have been banned and police are scrutinising CCTV footage with the intention of issuing more banning orders.
17th March 2008
Livermore “excited” about his new role
7:50 PM — The Prime Minister's departing Director of Political Strategy was not forced out of Downing St and he expects to remain close to Gordon Brown, PinkNews.co.uk has learned.It was revealed earlier today that Spencer Livermore is to leave the government this week.Downing St sources said he still expects to play a key role in the next election campaign.
Spencer Livermore to leave Downing St
6:00 PM — The Prime Minister's Director of Political Strategy is reportedly leaving to take a job in advertising.Spencer Livermore was named the most important gay person in British politics in the PinkNews.co.uk Top 50 list in December.His departure is seen as a blow to Gordon Brown: Mr Livermore has been one of his closest and most loyal aides for more than a decade.
Poll shows Boris ahead in race for Mayor of London
5:30 PM — The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London is well ahead of his two main rivals, according to polling carried out for the Evening Standard newspaper.The online poll of 1,005 Londoners was conducted by YouGov. 49% said they would vote for Boris Johnson, 37% for incumbent Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone and 12% for Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick.17% said they had not yet decided who to vote for. The Mayor of London is elected by the Supplementary Vote (SV) system, where voters may choose a first and second choice candidate.
Feeling singer says pop stars should follow him out of the closet
4:45 PM — The Feeling's frontman Dan Gillespie Sells has urged more pop stars to come out.In an interview to publicise the Feeling's upcoming album, Join With Us, he told the Daily Record:"The world would be a healthier place if people were more honest about their sexuality and the entertainment industry would be healthier if people were more honest full stop.
Activists and politicians launch IDAHO in London
3:55 PM — Government ministers, candidates for Mayor of London and more than 100 LGBT activists from across the world came together at the University of the Arts in London last week for the UK launch of the International Day Against Homophobia.Students on the Design for Graphic Communication course at the University of Arts designed double sided broadsheet posters to encourage UK campaigners to arrange events for the IDAHO on May 17th, and the winning posters were displayed at the event.IDAHO founder Louis-Georges Tin was in attendance.
London’s festival of lesbian and gay cinema
1:35 PM — The 22nd BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival starts on March 22nd 2008.The annual event showcases a wide selection of LGBT-themed films and has grown in popularity in recent years. This year the opening Night Gala Screening film is Love and Other Disasters and will be shown at the Odeon West End.Described as a sharper, gayer version of Love Actually, the romantic comedy features performances from Brittany Murphy, Matthew Rhys and Catherine Tate.
Complaints about gay billboard ads rejected 12
11:04 AM — The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that an ad campaign by gay equality organisation Stonewall did not breach their code.The "Some people are gay - get over it!" posters were displayed on 600 billboards across the Britain last month.Of the 54 complaints received by the ASA, seven claimed the ad was inappropriate for display where it could be seen by children and five objected that the ad was particularly offensive to Christian and other religious groups.
14th March 2008
CPS want Royal blackmail trial in private 25
5:20 PM — The Crown Prosecution Service has requested that the trial of two men charged with attempting to blackmail a member of the Royal Family be held without the public being allowed into court.Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, pleaded not guilty to making demands with menaces, contrary to the Theft Act 1968, at the Old Bailey in December.They were arrested in October after police mounted a sting operation.
Homophobic bishop branded un-Christian by MSP 53
4:25 PM — A Labour member of the Scottish Parliament has echoed comments from gay equality organisation Stonewall and branded the Bishop of Motherwell as un-Christian.George Foulkes MSP tabled a motion condemning Bishop Joseph Devine's comments that gay people attend Holocaust memorial events in order to "create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution" as "unfortunate, outdated and un-Christian."Gay equality organisation Stonewall also criticised the Roman Catholic leader.
PM says Mandelson will only serve one term
3:15 PM — The Prime Minister has quashed speculation that he may re-appoint former Labour Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson as a European Commissioner.Arriving at a European summit last night, Gordon Brown told reporters that Mr Mandelson would only serve one term."Peter Mandelson said he doesn't want to become the next commissioner," he said. "I think it is important to say that Peter Mandelson has done a great job as commissioner and, of course, it is his wish to do something else."
Iranian gays still facing deportation from UK 7
2:25 PM — Gay activists have told PinkNews.co.uk that the government need to reconsider the cases of other gay asylum seekers following the reprieve of Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi's.Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced yesterday that in the light of "new circumstances" gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi should have his case reconsidered upon his return from the Netherlands, where he fled when his first application was denied.The 19-year old, who has lived in Britain since 2005, was facing deportation and possible execution in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal.
Galloway claims Iran executes sex offenders, not gays 16
2:00 PM — Outspoken London MP George Galloway has said that the boyfriend of Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for sex crimes.The Respect politician made his claims on Channel Five show The Wright Stuff yesterday morning.Mr Kazemi is claiming asylum in the UK. He claims his boyfriend was arrested by police in Iran for being homosexual, forced to reveal the names of men he had relationships with, and executed.
New rules on HIV prosecutions released 4
1:10 PM — New guidelines on how prosecutors should deal with cases involving the intentional or reckless transmission of STIs have been published by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today.The CPS has devised a public policy and guidance statement that covers the Code for Crown Prosecutors and how it should be implemented in all cases.The guide also outlines offences the CPS will consider in relation to cases of the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of infection.
Gay community “right” to recall Nazi persecution 53
12:30 PM — The chair of the Holocaust Educational Trust has defended the right of gay people to commemorate the Holocaust.Lord Janner's comments follow the remarks of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell, who said earlier this week that the "homosexual lobby" attend Holocaust memorial events to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were held in concentration camps by the Nazis as members of an "anti-social group."
13th March 2008
Gay Iranian teen’s case will be reviewed says Home Office 21
3:02 PM — An Iranian teenager who was facing deportation and possible execution will have his case reviewed.The decision was announced moments ago. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:"Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi's case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands."
Lords try to stop gay teenager’s deportation 21
2:30 PM — Senior peers, including former Speaker of the Commons Betty Boothroyd and former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf, have asked the government not to deport a gay teenager back to his home country of Iran.More than 60 members of the House of Lords signed a letter to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith urging the government to "show compassion" to Mehdi Kazemi, who fears he will be executed for homosexual acts if he is returned.