Gay British politician told he shouldn’t vote in EU referendum as he ‘doesn’t look English’
An out gay British politician has said he was told he shouldn’t be allowed to vote in the EU referendum because he “doesn’t look English”.
Bloomsbur, London Labour Councillor Rishi Madlani was out campaigning on the referendum for the UK to leave or remain part of the European Union, when he was told he didn’t deserve a vote.
The former General Secretary of the London School of Economics had been wearing a remain rosette, was taking polling numbers at a station outside Ramsy Hall when a man came forward accusing him of not being British.
“I initially started saying, well I’m very English,” Mr Madlani told PinkNews. “I was born here and I’ve always lived here.”
The man would not accept that as an answer and told Mr Madlani he must not be English because he didn’t look English.
Mr Madlani said he was shocked by the remark.
He told PinkNews: “Seeing as I’m someone who is British born and has become deeply involved in British politics as an elected official of a UK political party
“If I’m not British or English enough for him, then I’m sure he’d probably extend that view to many others.”
“I’m 110% sure he voted leave,” Mr Madlani added.
Mr Madlani cited the immigration rhetoric and increased tension in the campaign as possible explanations for the incident.
“The language that has been used can only be helpful in dividing a community and actually London is very united and I see this every day in my ward,” he told PinkNews.
Mr Madlani also believed that the man was an “exception to the rule,” and that in central London “for someone to go up and say something like that, it’s just out of the ordinary.”
British voters took to the polls today to answer the referendum question: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”
More from PinkNews
Ahead of the referendum on EU membership, four Members of Parliament told PinkNews about the potential impact on LGBT people.
Last week, Sir Ian McKellen reaffirmed his support for the UK staying in the EU – claiming it makes “no sense” for gay people to back Brexit.
His comments came after Crispin Blunt, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, wrote for PinkNews accusing the ‘In’ campaign of scaremongering on LGBT rights
Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also told PinkNews that he thought leaving the EU could be damaging for LGBT people.