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Peter Tatchell and the London Elections

Matthew Willgress spoke to the Tatchell for London campaign.

Why is Peter Tatchell standing for the London Assembly, and on what political basis is he running his campaign?

Peter is standing for election to the London Assembly as a Green Left Independent. He will fight for all Londoners with the same passion and determination that he has fought for gay human rights. Peter is independent and will stand up for London – no party whips or spin-doctors! At a meeting in Lewisham organised by Operation Black Vote, even Trevor Phillips said that: "Peter is right. It is good to have those people who are rebellious and kick and scream." Peter stands for social justice and equal rights for every Londoner and that is why he is backing Ken Livingstone for mayor. It is vital for Ken to have left allies like Peter in the Assembly, in order to stop his budget and policies being vetoed.

Isn’t Peter making this less likely by adding to the various protest votes to the left of New Labour on offer?

Like Ken he has support from people who do not traditionally identify with the Left – as is the case with many lesbians and gay men. He is asking Labour supporters to vote for him in the list section of the ballot, to "show Tony Blair that grassroots members want the party to return to its core socialist values of public ownership, social equality and redistribution of wealth".

He is also hoping to get support from Labour members unwilling to vote for the LSA. An example of this kind of support can be found in the 14 April issue of Tribune in a letter by David Alexander-Kingstone: "Tatchell's decision to stand for election to the London Assembly as a Green-Left Independent candidate is good news. Under the list system of PR, he needs only about 5% of the vote to get elected. Peter Tatchell's candidature gives disaffected Labour supporters a credible Left alternative to the Socialist Workers Party-dominated London Socialist Alliance."

What can people do to help?

One of our crucial tasks is to make as many people as possible aware that Peter is standing for the London Assembly. Meanwhile we are asking people to place messages of support for Peter and details of the website (www.tatchellforlondon.freeserve.co.uk) on as many mailing lists, newsgroups, e-groups and message boards as possible. Our e-mail is info@tatchellforlondon.freeserve.co.uk. Donations: please make cheques payable to "Tatchell for London" and send to Tatchell for London, Sound, Swiss Centre, 10 Wardour Street, London W1V 3HG.