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Mayor Boris Johnson fails on London gay manifesto

One day before elections, London mayoral incumbent Boris Johnson admits he won't release LGBT-specific manifesto he's promised numerous times
London's mayor Boris Johnson has repeatedly promised to release an LGBT-specific manifesto prior to elections 3 May.
Photo by Scott Nunn.

London's current mayor Boris Johnson has abandoned his commitment to produce an LGBT-specific manifesto.

The Conservative mayor seeking re-election tomorrow (3 May) has still not produced the manifesto he promised nearly one month ago at the mayoral hustings hosted by gay rights group Stonewall. 

Johnson's most recent pledge to deliver the document came no less than three days ago.

'It's coming next week with a whole another manifesto,' said Johnson in an interview with Gaydar Radio on 29 April. 'The manifesto is going to be released to an amazed world either Monday or early next week. So, the whole thing will be there.'

When asked if there would be anything new on this manifesto, all Johnson suggested was to 'devour it'.

Gay Star News contacted Johnson's press office today (2 May) to ask why he would not be releasing an LGBT-specific manifesto as promised. His representatives told us that the mayor would like to unite the many diverse groups that comprise London, and that clauses on the LGBT community were included in the master manifesto.

The document titled Uniting London lists two points under the heading 'Making London the best big city to live in'. The statements say Johnson 'will not tolerate any form of bullying whether in the workplace, schools, or elsewhere; and call on boroughs to be vigilant about this.'

The mayor also commits to support projects like the FIT DVD, sent to schools to tackle homophobic bullying, and to continue supporting events like Pride.

But Johnson's opposition have come up with other specific pledges.

At the 14 April mayoral hustings his Labour predecessor, Ken Livingstone, who is standing against him again, jokingly offered to loan his own manifesto for Johnson to use. After being criticized for not mentioning homophobic hate crime or the gay community once in his 152-page manifesto Johnson said he'd release an LGBT-specific manifesto.

Livingstone's commitments to the gay, bi and trans community of London include: defending LGBT-specific services from government cuts, calling for urgent action on hate crime, tackling homo- and transphobic bullying in London, promoting Pride events, supporting LGBT art, culture and business and putting an end to homophobic advertising.

Johnson had the opportunity to stop homophobic advertising a few days later when he pulled the plug on anti-gay bus adverts that read: 'Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!'

The mayor also came under heat for removing the Greater London Assembly from the Stonewall equality index, the gay rights group's list of Britain's most gay-friendly workplaces.

Johnson later pledged to re-join the equality index.

London's gay mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, standing for the Liberal Democrats, talked about being bullied as a gay teenager. The former Metropolitan Police officer said: 'There needs to be an absolute change in the police. I will put that pressure on to deal with racism and homophobia within the police.' 

The British capital's voters will decide London's next mayor tomorrow 3 May.

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