Britain’s first out gay MP Chris Smith honoured

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Lord Chris Smith, who was Britain’s first out gay MP, has been honoured by Islington council.

The former Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, who came out 25 years ago, was awarded Freedom of the Borough.

The honour is the highest award Islington council can bestow. It recognises contribution to the community and dates from the Middle Ages.

A ceremony was held in Islington on Tuesday, where Father Jim Kennedy and Colonel Brian Kay were also honoured.

Lord Smith, who is now Lord Smith of Finsbury, said: “I feel rather humble. Representing Islington has been, at times, a challenge. At all times a great honour.”

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn MP said: “Chris served Islington as councillor, chair of housing and MP from 1983 to 2005, coming to the House in the same year as me.

“In that time he showed remarkable courage in standing up for human and civil rights and in coming out as the first openly gay MP.”