The Daily Telegraph (30 June 2005) reports: “Ken Livingstone is ever eager to ingratiate himself with London’s gay community. But his antics appear to cut little ice with gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, who was attending the the mayor’s Pride event on Monday night.
“‘This all about ticking boxes on a page’, opined Tatchell, sipping on a glass of pink champagne. ‘Ken just wants to be able to say he supports gay rights, but when it comes to the crunch it’s all meaningless: he’s still more than happy to welcome a homophobe like Yusuf al-Qaradawi to City Hall’.”
And apparently also happy to welcome an Islamophobe like Peter Tatchell – who proceeds to knock back the free champagne and while slagging off his host to the Tory press.
Perhaps Tatchell should ponder the comments of a member of Imaan, the lesbian and gay Muslim group: “It can be argued that over the years Ken Livingstone’s record on empowering Gay and Lesbian Rights is more impressive than Peter Tatchell’s, which frankly, at times, has been more self-indulgent than effective.”