Labour, Conservative, Green and Liberal Democrat candidates all pledged to support LGBTQ+ communities during tonight’s SWLondoner hustings on Riverside Radio.
The four candidates, speaking in response to a question around a rise in homophobic hate crimes in Lambeth, all threw their support behind the issue.
Leonie Cooper from the Labour Party spoke about the Mayor’s dedication to supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
“London is open, London is welcome,” said Cooper, referencing one of the major diversity and inclusion campaigns from City Hall.
Cooper noted that Sadiq Khan has invested £6million in tackling hate crime, and recently approved a £5.7million two-year interest free capital loan to Tonic to establish the first LGBTQ+ retirement community.
Cooper mentioned Khan’s participation in Pride since 2016 and has flown the flag outside of City Hall.
Louise Calland from the Conservatives vowed that the party would make homophobic and transphobic hate crime a crime in itself, rather than an aggravated crime.
This would ensure they would be treated the same way as all other hate crimes.
Calland declared that the party had pledged to end all HIV transmission by 2038 through their work with the Terrance Higgins Trust.
“There have been 2,882 homophobic hate crimes in the last 12 months and 80% aren’t even reported,” claimed Calland.
Hina Bokhari from the Liberal Democrats focused on the police response to hate crimes.
Ensuring the police are more responsive, taking action on hate crimes with full investigations.
Bokhari also pledged to reform the Gender Recognition Act, support voluntary organisations and focus on LGBTQ+ businesses.
The Green Party’s Hannah Graham said: “Everyone in London should be able to live a safe and fulfilling life, free from discrimination and hatred.”
Graham vowed to have increased support and targeted information for LGBTQ+ community members and said the Greens wanted to remove all barriers faced by the community.
The Green Party will also develop a housing strategy as well as a trans rights strategy for London.
Graham added: “Discrimination is a day-to-day reality.
“London can be the most Trans inclusive city in the world.”
Cooper and Calland are both running for the London Assembly seat in Merton & Wandsworth, whilst Bokhari and Graham are both London-wide list candidates.
Feature image credit: Benson Kua via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 2.0 license