Current Affairs

Ken emphasises his gay rights credentials

Tony Grew April 16, 2008
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The Mayor of London will be taking to the streets of Soho this evening to try to drum up votes among the city’s lesbian and gay community.

In a statement earlier today Ken Livingstone, who is standing as the Labour candidate in pursuit of a third term in office, said he has been “at the forefront” of promoting LGBT rights.

“If re-elected in May I will work to ensure that London retains its reputation as a welcoming and safe place for lesbian and gay Londoners and visitors,” he said.

“A recent Stonewall survey indicates clear support for my policies of promoting equality and stamping out homophobia, but there is more to be done, not least to combat homophobic bullying in schools and the workplace.

“I will continue to work with the lesbian and gay community towards eradicating homophobia and achieving full equality.”

Along with his Lib Dem rival Brian Paddick, Tory candidate Boris Johnson, Green party candidate Sian Berry and Respect – The Left List hopeful Lindsey German, Mr Livingstone will be taking part in a hustings this Saturday organised by LGB equality group Stonewall.

The event has been booked out, indicating that gay Londoners are keen to engage with the candidates on the issues that effect them.

The Mayor and 25-member Assembly will be elected on May 1st.

The only gay person in the race for City Hall, Brian Paddick, today announced he would be reaching out to voters with his first UK live video webchat.

He will be responding live to online comments from web users via Ustream, the world’s leading live video webcasting site on Friday 18 April between 7.30-8.30pm.

Ustream has been used widely by candidates in the 2008 US Presidential elections to connect with voters and has also been used by celebrities to keep in touch with their fan base.

Last week Mr Paddick announced he is to Twitter during the campaign.

Twitter is a free text-message based social networking and blogging service and is one of the fastest-growing internet tools.

Boris Johnson, whose performance as Tory candidate has seen him take a lead in some polls over Mr Johnson, today attacked his opponents for not attending a hustings arranged by the Centre for Social Justice.

“I think this is outrageous behaviour by the current Mayor to snub an event for the voluntary sector in London, which is currently doing so much to keep young people out of gangs and away from lives of crime,” he said.

“I am similarly disappointed by the Lib Dem candidate, who appears to have pulled out overnight, and it shows that neither he nor Ken are ready to address the enormous problems of gun and knife crime in this city by tackling the root causes.

“Only one candidate in this election understands the importance of the voluntary sector, Londoners need to vote for fresh thinking and new ideas on May 1st.”

Full list of candidates for Mayor of London.

Richard Barnbrook

British National Party

Gerard Batten

UK Independence Party

Sian Berry

Green Party

Alan Craig

Christian Peoples Alliance and Christian Party

Lindsey German

The Left List

Boris Johnson

Conservative Party

Ken Livingstone

Labour Party

Winston McKenzie


Matt O’Connor

English Democrats

Brian Paddick

Liberal Democrats

Related topics: Mayoral Election

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