UK is five years old today Staff Writer July 21, 2010
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From humble beginnings, the site has grown quickly and is now the biggest gay news source in Europe and the second biggest globally.

In the last five years, we’ve brought the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community breaking news, interviews, features and comment.

We’ve worked to give our readers the opportunity to question the most powerful politicians in the country and earlier this year, extracted a range of election promises from the leaders of the new coalition government.

Among the high profile figures we’ve interviewed are David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, Boris Johnson and Simon Hughes.

But we’ve also focused on gay rights further afield, reporting on the plight of those persecuted in homophobic countries such as Iraq and Uganda, plus reports from Pride celebrations as diverse as Moscow and Sydney.

Our top stories include our expose of the News of the World photoshopping an image of Ashley Cole to illustrate a story about a bisexual footballer, Francis Maude saying Tory policies led to the AIDS-related death of his brother, Max Clifford advising gay sportsmen to stay in the closet and exposing the homophobia of a Scottish Tory candidate who was then dropped by the party.

Two of our biggest success were forcing ethical banks to recognise civil partnerships and highlighting “gratuitous” homophobia against Lindsay Lohan in a BBC programme, leading to the BBC Trust upholding complaints.

We’ve also had a range of people writing comment articles for us – including Peter Tatchell, Francis Maude, David Cameron, Daily Mail consultant editor Andrew Pierce and David Miliband. publisher and founder Benjamin Cohen said: “When I started, I never envisaged it would become this big. I just wanted to publish a story I couldn’t get published elsewhere.

“But I quickly realised that there was a need for broadsheet quality reporting in the LGBT community.

“No other website with a similar editorial budget has had the impact we have had and a number of stories have hit the national press and TV news.

“It was incredible during the last general election that we seemed to make the newspapers every day with stories about comments from homophobic Tory candidates or our tracker poll which measured the voting intentions of LGBT people.

“Over the past five years, we’ve also had fantastic editors – Marc Shoffman, Tony Grew and Jessica Geen.

“The future is incredibly exciting as we look to increase commercialisation to support editorial development and we have an exciting new design coming in the next few weeks.

“We were planning to launch our iPhone application today but I was so excited when I first used it, we launched it several weeks ago. It’s now the top gay news app in Europe and one of the top gay apps in the world. We’re looking forward to developing apps for other platforms and mobiles in future.

“For our first anniversary, we had a parliamentary launch for our print version, which was the first time members of parliament came together for a gay-related cause. We hope to hold a similar reception later this year for our fifth birthday and are also pleased to be supporting Liverpool’s first Pride.”

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