Labour’s Emily Thornberry declares herself a ‘gay icon’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Labour’s Emily Thornberry says she has become a ‘gay icon’.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary and candidate for Islington South was speaking to the London Evening Standard ahead of tomorrow’s general election.

Ms Thornberry told the newspaper that she has “got a big lesbian following”.

She then added: “I’ve been a gay icon a number of times, especially when I spun the decks at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.”
Emily Thornberry

The Labour politician had DJed at the famous London gay bar at an event in 2016 to support the election campaign of London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Ms Thornberry, who is married to a man and has three kids, suggested that she is often confused for a lesbian.

She added: “I was told by my brother, who works in a large restaurant, that a big group of lesbians were sitting at a big table and they said to him: ‘Oh, so you’re gay… is Emily?'”

The Labour politician recently spearheaded the Labour response to reports of persecution of gay men in the Russian territory of Chechnya, after Jeremy Corbyn opted not to speak out on the issue.

She had said: “This appalling and disgusting prejudice still represents official policy in some parts of Europe, and we must do something about it. In recent days and weeks, we have heard reports from Russian LGBT organisations and human rights NGOs documenting the most terrible abuse, and we have all read them with great distress.

“This is nothing short of officially sanctioned policy from the Chechen authorities, but the Russian Government, who bear ultimate responsibility for their citizens’ safety, appear to be looking the other way, and that is scarcely any better.

“We are speaking today with a strong and unified voice. However, while I applaud, of course, the right hon. Gentleman’s raising the matter as deputy Foreign Secretary, it needs to be escalated.

“I hope that as a result of this urgent question we get an undertaking from the Government that it will be raised at a much higher political level. This is a matter that Prime Minister should take an initiative on—she should call in the Russian ambassador and demand some answers.”

Mr Corbyn recently defended his decision to not immediately speak out on Chechnya despite statements from Theresa May, Tim Farron and even Paul Nuttall.

He told PinkNews: “I absolutely condemn homophobic persecution Chechnya, as I condemn homophobic persecution and all forms of persecution everywhere.

“Emily Thornberry MP and Sarah Champion MP wrote to Theresa May on 21st April 2017 calling for an urgent UN investigation so that those responsible for these horrific crimes can be held to account.”