Boris appoints gay deputy Mayor

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The new Mayor of London has announced that Richard Barnes will serve as his deputy.

Mr Barnes was listed in December’s Top 50 list of the most influential lesbian, gay bisexual and trans politicians in Britain.

A former leader of the Conservative administration in the London Borough of Hillingdon, he has a degree in economics from the University of Wales, and speaks Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and French.

The London Assembly member for Ealing and Hillingdon, he is one of several Deputy Mayors appointed.

Ray Lewis, a former prison governor, will tackle gun and knife crime in the new role of Deputy Mayor, Young People.

Ian Clement becomes Deputy Mayor, Government Relations and Assembly Member Kit Malthouse becomes Deputy Mayor, Policing.

Mr Barnes is not the only prominent gay man in the new administration.

Another gay Tory Assembly Member, Brian Coleman, has been appointed Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

Sir Simon Milton, leader of Westminster Council, becomes a Senior Adviser on Planning. Knighted in the 2006 New Year’s Honours List, he publicly declared his sexuality and married his long-term partner Councillor Robert Davis at The Ritz hotel last year.

Commenting on the appointments, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

“I promised during the election campaign that I would be backed up by a strong team of advisers who will help me deliver my agenda of change for London.

“Yesterday I was able to reveal that Ray Lewis would join me in the fight against gun and knife crime in taking the important role of Deputy Mayor, Young People.

“Ray will work closely with Kit Malthouse who has agreed to become Deputy Mayor with responsibility for Policing.

“I’m also happy to welcome into City Hall Ian Clement and Simon Milton, two experienced public servants who have a fantastic record of delivery in local government.

“I have no doubt that this team will back me all the way in working tirelessly for London over the coming years.”

Leading Conservative Nicholas Boles, who was favourite for the party’s nomination for Mayor of London until illness intervened, has been seen at City Hall and is rumoured to be playing a major role in the new administration.

Mr Boles, the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Grantham and Stamford, is gay. He narrowly failed to take Hove in the 2005 general election.

A former director of think tank Policy Exchange, he is close friends with David and Samantha Cameron, Michael Gove and George Osborne, he is at the centre of the Notting Hill set.

Pride London organisers said they were looking forward to Mayor Boris Johnson’s appearance at this year’s event.

At last month’s hustings for the gay community organised by Stonewall Mr Johnson said he would be attending Pride this year whatever the outcome of the election.