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Sadiq Khan attacks Boris Johnson over ‘bumboys’ jibes at Pride in London

Nick Duffy July 6, 2019
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and his predecessor Boris Johnson

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and his predecessor Boris Johnson (Tristan Fewings/Getty)

Addressing Pride in London, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan took a potshot at Boris Johnson’s record of anti-LGBT remarks.

Speaking at the event on Saturday (July 6), the Labour mayor hit out at his Conservative predecessor, who is currently the front-runner in the race to become the next Prime Minister.

Addressing Boris Johnson’s history of  problematic comments, Khan said: “You’ve got the next prime minister using homophobic language.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan during the parade at Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan during the parade at Pride in London 2019 on July 06, 2019 in London, England. (Tristan Fewings/Getty)

“When you speak to members of the LGBTQ+ community, they will tell you that some of the homophobia they suffered, the attackers used this language, the same sort of language he’s used.

“What I want to see from our prime minister, if it is Boris Johnson, and it looks like it will be, is him realising that language matters.”

Boris Johnson used anti-LGBT slurs

Johnson has come under sustained fire for his history of remarks about LGBT+ people during his leadership campaign.

In 1990s newspaper columns, Johnson referred to gay people as “tank-topped bumboys” and attacked “Labour’s appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools.”

Despite his propensity for offensive remarks, Johnson’s legislative record is markedly more liberal, rebelling against his own party to support LGBT+ inclusion on several occasions.

As Khan hit out at his record, the Prime Ministerial hopeful sent a message of support to Pride in London, sharing a photo of himself at the same event in 2010.

Johnson tweeted: “Salute all those celebrating #PrideInLondon today. I have fond memories of my pink Stetson march as Mayor!

“Britain leads the world in LGBT+ equality and I’ll continue to champion the cause if I am lucky enough to become our country’s Prime Minister.”

Johnson skipped the Pride parade for several years towards the end of his time as Mayor of London, missing the event in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Prospective PM says he will ‘champion’ LGBT+ rights

In a statement to the LGBT+ Conservatives group, he said: “If I am lucky enough to be elected Conservative leader, I pledge that my administration will not consider this issue as ‘job done’.

“I will continue to champion LGBT+ equality, get tough on hate crime and ensure that we break down barriers to a fairer society.”

Outlining his priorities, Johnson said: “We must do more to ensure that trans rights are protected and those who identify as trans or intersex are able to live their lives with dignity.

“In our schools we must ensure that every young person feels safe and we should not allow the authority of teachers to be undermined by parents who unreasonably take their children out of school.

“Our fantastic NHS must provide for all, including all of the LGBT+ community, and we must call on business to ensure that no one is discriminated against for their sexuality or gender.”

He added: “We have already made so much progress as a Conservative government in championing equality and LGBT+ rights, but we must continue to still reform our society step by step, bringing people together while celebrating how we are all different.”

More: Boris Johnson, Gay, LGBT, mayor, Mayor of London, Pride in London, Sadiq Khan

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