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Lord Cashman takes up seat in House of Lords

October 28, 2014
Michael Cashman as Colin Russell on EastEnders

Michael Cashman as Colin Russell (L) on EastEnders

Former MEP Lord Michael Cashman has taken up his seat in the House of Lords.

The LGBT rights campaigner was officially ennobled today in a ceremony in the upper chamber as “Baron Cashman, of Limehouse in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.”

Yesterday, Lord Cashman tweeted the news and gave a heartfelt tribute to his late partner, Paul Cottingham, who died from cancer last Thursday.

Senior Labour figures, including former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, along with Labour leader Ed Miliband, paid tribute to Mr Cottingham and offered their condolences to Lord Cashman. The peer said he had been “overwhelmed” by the support.

Lord Cashman retired from the European Parliament in June, after a 15-year stint as a West Midlands MEP.

In August, he was elevated to the House of Lords.

At the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, Ed Miliband announced that Lord Cashman would serve as the party’s global LGBT rights envoy.

Lord Cashman will tomorrow receive the Outstanding Achievement Award from Mr Miliband at the PinkNews Awards in Parliament.

Before going into politics Michael Cashman had long been a household name.

As a child actor he was cast in the role of Oliver Twist in the original run of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver!

However, he is possibly best known for his role as Colin Russell in the BBC’s long-running soap Eastenders.

His character is best remembered for taking part in the first ever same-sex kiss in a British soap.

He co-founded gay rights charity Stonewall in 1989.

More: Ed Miliband, England, Gay rights, house of lords, LGBT rights, Lord Cashman, Lord Michael Cashman

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