EastEnders star turned MEP to hold gay marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Former EastEnders actor Michael Cashman will become Britain’s first MEP to have a civil partnership this weekend.

The Labour MEP for the West Midlands will wed his long term partner, Paul Cottingham tomorrow at a star studded ceremony in South London attended by names such as Barbara Windsor, Patrick Stewart and Tony Blair.

Mr Cashman was the first major gay actor in a British soap when he played Colin Russell in the Albert Square based drama. His character was the first male to kiss another man in a UK soap opera.

He has also appeared in Doctor Who and has worked with names such as Sir Ian McKellen, Elizabeth Taylor, and Sir Elton John.

The actor turned politician was elected to the European Parliament in 1999 where he is the Labour spokesperson on human rights. He is an active campaigner across a wide range of issues and was a founding member of gay charity, Stonewall.