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.
Manchester and Brighton both have permanent AIDS memorials. Would you back one in London?
Sadiq Khan (Labour): Too many Londoners were tragically lost to the AIDS crisis and, although we have come a long way in our fight against HIV, it is right that they are appropriately remembered.
Any decision on a permanent memorial would have to be led by councils and made in consultation with London’s LGBTQ+ communities but in principle, I would absolutely 100% support it.
Shaun Bailey (Conservatives): Of course, I would definitely support an AIDS memorial in London.
On World AIDS Day, I pledged to eradicate new transmissions of HIV in London by 2028. I believe London can lead the world in preventing new HIV transmissions — as long as we put the resources of the Mayor’s office behind it. But over the last four years, Sadiq Khan cut funding to health research whilst increasing his PR spend by £100 million.
So as Mayor, I’ll reverse this trend by extending the Do It London campaign, securing more investment from the government, and working with charities like the Terrence Higgins Trust. Together, we can stop new HIV transmissions, build a healthier city and give London a fresh start.
Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrats): Yes.
My Liberal Democrat colleague Caroline Pidgeon, a member of the London Assembly, has already publicly supported this project, and a candidate on our list for the London Assembly, Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, is a member of the AIDS Memory UK team.
The devastating impact AIDS has had on London’s gay community is at the forefront of all our minds following the release of It’s A Sin, and we must seize this moment to finally provide this long overdue memorial.
Sian Berry (Green Party): I’m really proud to have been a long term supporter of the campaign for a national AIDS memorial in London. Support for a monument was in my manifesto when I ran for Mayor in 2016. It’s just such an oversight that we’re missing one in London.
These memorials have served as really important cornerstones for gathering to remember as a community. The candlelight vigil for World AIDS Day at Sackville Gardens in Manchester is really moving.