Gay activist voted top hero

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Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been named in the top ten of a list of greatest living heroes this week.

The activist, who leads gay rights group, Outrage, and once attempted a citizen’s arrest on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, was voted by readers of the New Statesman as the sixth greatest living hero, beating writer Noam Chomsky, Microsoft chief Bill Gates, Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and documentary maker David Attenborough.

Burmese pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi came top of the poll, followed by former South African President Nelson Mandela, poverty campaigner Bob Geldof, Former Conservative leader Baroness Thatcher, and war reporter John Pilger.

The magazine called Ms Kyi “a true hero of this or any other time.”

Over a thousand readers and magazine contributors took part in the poll.

Tony Blair was at number 18, one place behind celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, and the Queen was ranked at 33 ahead of Prince Charles at 46.

Daniel Jamieson from Glasgow voted for Mr Tatchell, he wrote in the New Statesman, “For more than 30 years Peter Tatchell has campaigned tirelessly against homophobia, racism and sexism and for civil liberties and social justice.

“Through direct political action and his writing, he has stood up to and confronted injustice and abuse, often at considerable risk to himself. Despite being attacked, physically and verbally, he has never allowed himself to be bullied into silence.”

Mr Tatchell told “I am flattered but I hardly think I deserve the number six slot ahead of many more deserving public figures.”