Peter Tatchell ‘still serially excluded’ from Downing Street
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has said the coalition government is continuing its Labour predecessors’ ‘serial exclusion’ of him from Downing Street events.
David Cameron hosted a reception on Tuesday for figures from the LGBT community, attended by a number of clergy, gay charity representatives, celebrities and LGBT media.
In his speech, the prime minister noted that 2012 marked the 40th anniversary of London’s first pride parade.
But Peter Tatchell, one of the country’s most recognisable gay rights campaigners and an organiser of that event, was not invited to Tuesday’s reception.
Mr Tatchell said it was the third time he had been “vetoed”, continuing on from the 11 years Labour prime ministers did not invite him to the official residence.
Mr Tatchell said today: “I take my blacklisting as a back-handed compliment. The Prime Minister obviously thinks I am too challenging and not respectable enough to be invited to Downing Street. That’s fine by me.
“I don’t seek invites to Downing Street or government honours. I’m more interested in David Cameron stopping the deportation of LGBT refugees. It is shameful that the government is still sending victims of homophobic persecution back to violent countries like Uganda, Cameroon, Iran and Nigeria. I would not want to go to Downing Street while the Prime Minister is allowing this mistreatment of LGBT people.
“David Cameron doesn’t want to be confronted about such injustices. That’s probably the reason he had me barred.
“I’m glad he finds me threatening. My goal in life is to disturb the conscience of the unjust. I don’t want their plaudits or hospitality. I want action for human rights.”
Downing Street does not discuss guest lists for events.