The Conservative Party is currently selecting our candidate to replace the failing Sadiq Khan as the next Mayor of London in 2020. LGBT+ Conservatives has asked each of the three shortlisted candidates to say why LGBT+ people should support them - their responses are below.
All members of the Conservative Party in London should be eligible to vote for the candidates until 5pm on the 26th September.
If you have any questions about your ballot, please email Londonmayoralselection@conservatives.com
The Candidates... (in alphabetical order)
"Perhaps the greatest thing about living in London is it's cosmopolitan and diverse character. In our great city, you are free to be whoever you want to be and enter into loving relationships with whoever you want.
The LGBT+ community has contributed vastly to the cultural fabric of the Capital, and that contribution to our city should be celebrated.
As Mayor, I will use all of the tools at my disposal to ensure that the LGBT+ community thrives in London, and that the culture of this community in promoted and protected."
I am the only candidate who wants to cut the tax that the GLA sets (the “precept”) for every single year I am Mayor, has published a manifesto and has policies that have received the backing of the Taxpayers Alliance.
I’m also the one that has proven that he can take on Mayor Khan. (Just search on youtube for “boff khan”.)
But there is more to me than that.
When I chose to get married at 8am on a cold winter morning in 2005 it was because it was the first possible time that the recently changed law had permitted me to do so.
With my Civil Partnership register number 000001 (subsequently “upgraded” to marriage), for my husband and I it was symbol of a great step forward. But the fight for LGBT+ rights carries on for many others.
The battle is not over for trans Londoners to be accepted and respected as the gender that best allows them to be happy. Hate crime is still an ever present threat so everyone should feel both confident to report such crimes and be assured that their reports will be taken seriously and acted on sympathetically.
That requires political leadership that unashamedly and visibly celebrates our diversity both in terms of sexuality, gender identity and culture.
Valuing individuals is at the heart of my Conservative philosophy.
In this campaign I have frequently spoken and written about the importance of London as a city of opportunity – a place where everyone should be able to realise their potential. I’m proud that under a Conservative – or Conservative-led – Government we’ve made so many strides forward over the last 8 years. However there is still much to do.
One young woman recently asked me for help because her parents had cut off all financial support after she had told her mother she was a lesbian. And there are still people – predominantly young people - who may be facing abuse or homelessness as a direct consequence of being LGBT+. As Mayor I would seek to act as a facilitator, helping the fantastic charities that highlight and offer support to those suffering.
Furthermore I am a strong supporter of transgender rights and the vital importance of access to proper medical support and treatment. I have several friends waiting for gender reassignment surgery so I am well aware that it can even be difficult to access the right hormone therapy.
Ultimately this all feeds back to the intrinsically Conservative issue of spreading opportunity. London is the greatest city in the world and a major reason for that is that it offers so many Londoners a chance to thrive. And we are fortunate to live in a city where for the vast majority, your sexuality no longer undermines your ability to live your life the way you choose. If I am fortunate enough to be selected as the Conservative Mayoral candidate, and if I am elected Mayor in May 2020, then I believe a key part of my role should be seeking to extend opportunities to those who lack them. If you agree then I would be honoured to receive your support and, more specifically, your vote to become the Conservative Mayoral candidate.