Local elections good for gay Labour

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Despite heavy national losses in yesterday’s local elections, the Labour Campaign for Gay and Lesbian Rights (LCGLR) has hailed the results a good night for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) presence.

The Labour Party lost over 250 councillors from the polls, but several gay councillors managed to hold onto their seats.

The party gained control of the London Borough of Lambeth with several gay candidates claiming seats.

Pav Akhtar received 1552 votes in the Stockwell Ward, he told PinkNews.co.uk, “Labour has helped put diversity and equality high up on the agenda, not just in laws but in society’s attitudes.

“This is important in a diverse, multicultural and multi racial areas such as Lambeth.”

Mark Bennett, a representative for the Streatham South Ward in Lambeth, got 1,725 votes, he told PinkNews.co.uk: “I’m particularly proud as an openly gay councillor to have gained the highest Labour vote in Lambeth.”

“It was a fantastic result for Labour and reflects a great deal of hard work by committed members from the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender community.”

Gay Harrow Road councillor, Guthrie Mckie, kept his seat in Conservative controlled Westminster, he told PinkNews.co.uk, “The biggest issue will be to make sure the new planning regulations for rainbow flags are available city wide and not just in the West End.”

Matt Cooke, won the Bounds Green seat in Haringey, it was the first time the openly gay former University of London Student Union (ULU) President had run for councillor, he told PinkNews.co.uk: “My sexuality never came up on the doorstep.

“It pleased me that I was able to be out and open on my application and never met any under-current of homophobia.”

Labour held on to the London Borough of Haringey as well as the London Borough of Hackney, Katie Hanson, a lesbian councillor for the Victoria Ward and co chair of the LCGLR got the highest amount of votes in the area.

Alan Laing won in the Hackney Central Ward. The gay representative told PinkNews.co.uk: “Labour will be continuing improvement in Hackney.

“The result bucks the trend of the rest of London.”

Alon Or-Bach, LCGLR co chair, told PinkNews.co.uk: “It was a good night for LGBT presence.

“It’s great we are increasing the LGBT representation, it will ensure Labour is leading the way in issues of equality.”

Gay councillors, Matt Cooke and Alan Dobbie held seats in Labour controlled Haringey and David Boothroyd held his in Westminster.