A Muslim mayoral candidate has said, if she is elected to mayor in a London borough, she wants to reopen the Joiners’ Arms.
Rabina Khan, currently a councillor for Shadwell in east London, is an independent candidate for the Tower Hamlets mayor.
She says if she is elected on 11 June, she will as the UK’s first female Muslim mayor want to reopen the closed LGBTI venue.
Khan has said the Joiners’ Arms, which closed its doors suddenly in January, should become a hub to provide advice for young people struggling with their sexual or gender identity.
‘The Joiners’ Arms has long been an important venue for the LGBTI community and its future should carry on in that tradition,’ she said.
‘I believe the Joiners’ Arms would make a fantastic community hub offering support services for the LGBTI people and the wider community too.’
Before its closure, campaigners managed to secure ‘Asset of Community Value’ (ACV) status for the venue from Tower Hamlets Council, thanks to a petition which garnered over a thousand signatories.
The closure of the Joiners’ Arms has only been a part of what many fear is a wave of LGBTI venues, bars, clubs and gyms shutting its doors for good.
Charlotte Gerada, a member of the group Friends of the Joiners Arms, said: ‘The Joiners is an incredibly crucial and valued community space, offering a safe space to socialise and provide key support services.
‘I know Rabina shares our passion and vision to save and evolve the Joiners and if elected as Tower Hamlets mayor, I have full confidence that she will continue to protect this historic venue.’
Others running for office include Labour’s John Biggs, Conservative’s Peter Golds, Liberal Democrat’s Elaine Bagshaw and Green’s John Foster. The by-election will be held on 11 June.