London Mayoral Election 2021: The LGBTQ+ Q&A

Jason Reid March 30, 2021

On May 6, Londoners will select their Mayor for the next four years. This election was due to take place last year but was postponed because of the pandemic. With campaign mode now in full swing, Jason Reid spoke to the candidates from the four main political parties to find out where they stand on LGBTQ+ issues.

How do you plan to address the increasing hostility towards trans people? 

Sian Berry (Green Party)

Sian Berry (Green Party): One of my first announcements in my campaign for Mayor was the need for a trans action plan. Similar to the brilliant work done by Brighton & Hove Green Councillors.

I want to bring together a commission of trans and non-binary Londoners to demand more from the NHS and build a plan to make London the most inclusive city in the world.

My feminism has always been trans inclusive and I do think cis women have a job to fight this false narrative that puts trans inclusion and feminism at odds.

I’m really lucky to work with a wide range of amazing women at the Green Party. We’re using our platforms to counter the misinformation and distortion out there.

My colleagues Caroline Russell, Carla Denyer, Rosi Sexton and Kathyrn Bristow are brilliant feminist campaigners. I wish some parts of the media would give trans inclusive women more attention, instead of platforming transphobia.

Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrats)

Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrats): It is disturbing that transphobic hate crimes have almost tripled over the last nine years in London. There is also a really dehumanising discussion that has developed about trans people’s rights and dignity, fuelled by public figures with a big following who should know better.

I am completely clear: trans rights are human rights. There is no such thing as equality without equality for trans people.

My promise to do everything in my power to help keep the LGBTQ+ community safe includes trans people. Knowing there are specific hostilities that trans people face, we will often need to go further to protect their rights too.  

London must become the safest, most trans friendly city in Europe. Achieving this in practice will mean working to end stigma, by actively platforming trans voices to promote inclusion. 

Shaun Bailey (Conservatives)

Shaun Bailey (Conservatives): Trans people deserve to live in dignity and I will always stand up for their safety in London. As Mayor, I’ll deliver a fresh approach to addressing the hostility many face.

I will have a zero tolerance approach to crime, which of course includes all hate attacks and violence against trans people.

I recognise that the way trans rights have been discussed lately and the intensity of the discussion has caused too much fear and pain in the community. As a city, we must always fight for the values of openness and acceptance.

Sadiq Khan (Labour)

Sadiq Khan (Labour): London is proud of its diversity, but despite being one of the most open and progressive cities in the world, there are still people who are intolerant of the trans community.

I have a zero-tolerance policy on transphobic hate crime and will continue to work closely with the Met police to stamp it out. I’m proud to be Mayor of a city where many so trans people come in search of safety and acceptance.

I want all trans Londoners to know they are welcome here which is why I supported plans for the first Trans Pride parade to take place in London, backed the colours of the trans flag appearing on the TfL network as part of Pride celebrations and became the first Mayor to fly the trans pride flag outside City Hall.

I’ll always stand up for London’s LGBTQ+ community and I know how important the right education and legislation is. That’s why I’ll keep calling on the Government to do more to expand sex and relationships education and enact much-needed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.  

The election on May 6 is an opportunity to send the Tories a message about their continued inaction.

Join us again tomorrow for answers to the question: ‘How will you support LGBTQ+ bars and entertainment venues, as well as encouraging new LGBTQ+ ventures?’