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London gay man loses LGBT officer role in Labour party to a straight man

London gay man loses LGBT officer role in Labour party to a straight man

Rohit Dasgupta and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn | Photo: Facebook/Rohit Dasgupta

A London gay man claims he lost his LGBT officer role in his Labour party to a straight man.

Academic and Councillor Rohit Dasgupta has served as the representative for LGBTI people in the West Ham Labour party for the past two years.

The Labour politician, who once faced off against Nigel Farage in the European elections, described last night’s election as a ‘shit show’.

Dasgupta lost 45 to 49 votes.

London gay man loses local LGBT Labour officer role to straight man

‘When we walked out, I called it corruption,’ he tells Gay Star News.

‘I’m disgusted the general council voted for a straight white man who has not done anything in his life for LGBT rights. It’s the worst thing I’ve seen.’

Dasgupta, also a lecturer in global communication at Loughborough University, posted a thread on Twitter voicing his disgust.

‘I lost the LGBT Officer post because a straight white man stood against me,’ he said.

‘His statement did not have one sentence about LGBT campaiging. Those sharing homophobic content today clapped. There was mass walkout in disgust. I might actually be done. Over to you UK Labour.’

Efforts to suppress LGBTI-inclusive relationships and sex education in London? 

Dasgupta has said efforts to suppress LGBTI-inclusive relationships and sex education (RSE) in schools is happening in Newham.

As part of his campaign, he said he would strive to ensure there would not be a repeat of the homophobic protests of LGBTI-inclusive RSE education in Birmingham.

RSE will become compulsory in UK schools from September 2020.

A leaflet, spread around Newham last week, said children would be ‘perverted’. The leaflet also claimed RSE would ‘promote homosexuality and transgenderism in children’.

The man who won the LGBT officer role had many supporters that previously shared anti-RSE posts on Facebook. GSN cannot independently confirm this.

Infighting in Labour West Ham party

In the last month, Dasgupta felt like some colleagues in the Labour party was critical of his views on education.

And then, two weeks ago, he was informed that he would be opposed in his role as LGBT officer.

‘I didn’t want to question anyone’s self-determination,’ he said. ‘But then I found he had not engaged with a single LGBT delegate, went to none of the LGBT meetings and I heard he just joined LGBT Labour to confirm his credentials that he belongs to the LGBT community.

‘I didn’t want to question him, of course.’

Dasgupta then claims the winner had ‘intimidated’ LGBT members.

Gay Star News has contacted the winner of the LGBT officer role to ask if he does identify within the LGBTI community. We have also asked him his views on LGBTI-inclusive sex and relationships education. We have also asked him to address Dasgupta’s other claims.

GSN has decided to not name him until he responds.

‘I will ensure that LGBTQ+ members have a strong voice…’

In his statement to be elected, he does not mention his sexuality once.

‘I am standing as the West Ham Labour LGBTQ+ officer to represent the LGBTQ+ members and community in the West Ham CLP,’ he said.

‘I will ensure that LGBTQ+ members have a strong voice… and that they are fully involved in the work and campaigning.’

He also said: ‘I want a society that is more equal, just, fair.’

However, Dasgupta claims he was asked how he identifies. He allegedly responded: ‘This isn’t about LGBT, this is about everything being inclusive.’

Dasgupta is planning on going through the complaints procedure.

‘My big worry is this is not an isolated case,’ he said. ‘This is impacting every progressive councillor, every member of my CLP. Whether they’re black or secular or gay or lesbian. If you’re progressive, we’re being attacked.’

MPs come out to support

Josephine Wahl, in the last couple of hours, resigned as Chair of West Ham CLP.

She said in a statement: ‘I’m saddened that people who have worked tirelessly to achieve what I saw as our shared aims – a better party, a better Labour Council, a Labour government – were rejected last night in favor of those who have no such record.

‘Furthermore, there are publicly and privately expressed concerns that one of the new self-identifying officers has not been sincere about their identification.

‘If this is the case, it’s also a deeply concerning situation. Seema Chandwani, the Vice-Chair of London Labour, has already picked this up; at a time when the rights of LGBT+ people are under threat globally the left must be in the forefront of the struggle to defend these.’

Several high profile Labour politicians have also come to Dasgupta’s support.

Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, said: ‘Am sorry and shocked to read this thread and my heart goes out to you. This sounds like something we need to look at on the regional board.

Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, also said: ‘I’m afraid what’s happening in Birmingham is spreading to Newham and is present within the Labour Party. This is totally appalling.’

And Angela Eagle, former Labour minister, simply said: ‘This cannot be right.’

Gay Star News has contacted the Labour Party and West Ham CLP is awaiting a response.

See also

Labour MP gives tearful defense of LGBTI-inclusivity lessons in UK schools

Gay, British MP: Government must act to stop anti-LGBTI school protests

Gay mother reacts to anti-LGBTI protest outside Birmingham school