Peter Tatchell Praised By Downing Street For Recent Protest In Russia

At the annual LGBT Pride reception at Downing Street, Theresa May said "I respect the lifetime of activism that you have committed in support of LGBT rights" while Tatchell vows to continue pushing for action from May on unmentioned issues facing LGBT+ people in the UK.

Theresa May and Peter Tatchell pictured outside Downing Street

Theresa May has praised LGBT activist Peter Tatchell for protesting the anti-gay laws in Russia which saw him getting arrested by Russian police during the World Cup.

UK Politicians have long been wary of aligning themselves with Tatcher but this week he was welcomed back to the UK with open arms by Theresa May where the pair met at Downing Street for the annual Downing Street LGBT Pride reception.

This was the first time Peter Tatchell was a guest at the event saying he had previously been “banned”.

May welcomed Tatchell in her address and spoke about the respect she has for his activism.

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She told the crowd: “Many of you are with us today, and I am particularly pleased to see Peter Tatchell here.

“I know we probably don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, Peter, but I respect the lifetime of activism that you have committed in support of LGBT rights – and particularly most recently on the streets of Moscow.

“The commitment that you and many other longstanding campaigners has shown, makes us all proud.”

This was met with rapturous applause from the guests.

During the event, a new action plan was announced which set a clear stance on outlawing gay conversion therapy, improving police response to LGBT+ hate incidents, more support for LGBT+ students and teachers and improvements to gender identity services for transgender adults.

Tatchell called the action plan a “welcome start”, but said it fell short in a number of areas such as the deportation of LGBT+ refugees to countries where homophobia is widespread, the lack of action to stop faith-based anti-LGBT discrimination and no action on providing compensation to those convicted under anti-gay laws.

Some of these issues were discussed by Tatchell with Irish LGBT+ activists at this year’s Dublin Pride debate.

After the event, he released a statement in which he said he was “surprised and delighted” to be invited to the reception by May.

He said in a statement: “Since the inception of Downing Street LGBT Pride receptions a decade ago, I have been banned from attending by successive Prime Ministers – Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

“Despite my 51 years of campaigning, and my role in the UK’s first Pride parade in 1972, they apparently deemed me to be the unacceptable face of LGBT activism.

“I was therefore surprised and delighted that Theresa May has invited me to this year’s reception on 3 July.”

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