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Tower Hamlets mayoral candidates to take part in LGBT hustings

Nick Duffy May 25, 2015

Candidates running to become the mayor of Tower Hamlets in East London will take part in an LGBT hustings.

The previous independent mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, was removed from office last month after being found guilty of election fraud and corruption.

Stickers were previously put up in the area declaring it a ‘gay free zone’ – and former Communities minister Eric Pickles warned last year about problems with extremism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.

Ahead of next month’s by-election on June 11, all candidates in the area have been invited to take part in an LGBT hustings by Rainbow Hamlets.

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets LGBT Hustings will take place in east London’s Oxford House next Monday, June 1, from 6:30 until 8:30.

The Chief Executive of Rainbow Hamlets, Jack Gilbert said: “This is the first time in London that candidates for such a powerful role will face an LGBT-focused audience.

“As Mayor, the winner would be responsible for ensuring that the local authority serves all the diverse communities of the borough equally.

“Tower Hamlets has a growing LGBT population, and faces unique challenges. Here is a chance for LGBT people and our allies to put all the candidates to the test.”

He continued: “Rainbow Hamlets, which was founded in 2010, and became a charity in 2012, has a crucial role to play in the East End.

“We raise awareness of LGBT experiences and concerns, promote participation in civil society by LGBT people, combat prejudice, hatred and discrimination without fear or favour, and address threats to cohesion.”

Conservative candidate Peter Golds is openly gay – and has previously spoken about homophobia he encountered in the area

Others running include Rabina Khan who is endorsed by Mr Rahman and formerly of Tower Hamlets First, John Biggs of Labour, Liberal Democrat Elaine Bagshaw, the Green Party’s John Foster, Andy Erlam of Red Flag Anti Corruption, Nicholas McQueen of UKIP, and independents Hafiz Kadir and Md. Motiur Rahman Nanu.

Candidates attending the hustings are still to be confirmed.

 

Click here for more details about the hustings, and to RSVP.

More: England, Gay, hustings, lesbian, LGBT, Tower Hamlets

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