Tower Hamlets mayoral candidates to take part in LGBT hustings tonight

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Candidates running to become the mayor of Tower Hamlets in East London will this evening take part in an LGBT hustings.

The previous independent mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, was removed from office last month after being found guilty of election fraud and corruption.

Stickers were previously put up in the area declaring it a ‘gay free zone’ – and former Communities minister Eric Pickles warned last year about problems with extremism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.

Ahead of the by-election on June 11, this evening candidates in the area will take take part in an LGBT hustings organised by Rainbow Hamlets. PinkNews is the media partner for the event.

The Hustings, which will take place in east London’s Oxford House today from 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM, will involve:
Elaine Bagshaw (Liberal Democrat)
John Biggs (Labour)
Andy Erlam (Red Flag — Anti-Corruption)
John Foster (Green)
Peter Golds (Conservative)
Vanessa Hudson (Animal Welfare)
Rabina Khan (Independent)

The Chief Executive of Rainbow Hamlets, Jack Gilbert said: “This is the first time in London that candidates for such a powerful role will face an LGBT-focused audience.

“As Mayor, the winner would be responsible for ensuring that the local authority serves all the diverse communities of the borough equally.

“Tower Hamlets has a growing LGBT population, and faces unique challenges. Here is a chance for LGBT people and our allies to put all the candidates to the test.”

He continued: “Rainbow Hamlets, which was founded in 2010, and became a charity in 2012, has a crucial role to play in the East End.

“We raise awareness of LGBT experiences and concerns, promote participation in civil society by LGBT people, combat prejudice, hatred and discrimination without fear or favour, and address threats to cohesion.”

Others candidates for the seat include Nicholas McQueen of UKIP, and independents Hafiz Kadir and Md. Motiur Rahman Nanu.


Click here for more details about the hustings, and to RSVP.