The leader of #UKIP’s youth wing has hit out at “tokenism” – after the head of his party’s #LGBT group quit.
The chair of LGBTQ* in UKIP, Tom Booker, quit this week and renounced his party membership – citing “dissatisfaction at the failure of the leadership to set a gay-friendly tone”.
Today, the leader of the party’s ‘Young Independence’ wing said he was “proud” of the way UKIP has dealt with a string of anti-gay candidates.
Jack Duffin, who heads the group, told IBTimes: “When we see these problems we deal with them. These stories happen to all parties.
“I’m proud of UKIP because we deal with these issues and don’t hide them in our membership and wait for the media to get hold of them.
“We promote issues across the board, we don’t target any small group or anything but we work with them.
“We don’t target any small minority because that’s not the way we operate as a party.
“You’ll never seen an all-woman shortlist in UKIP because we value everyone on what they bring to the table. We’re not a party of tokens.
“Young people in other parties are just a token – they’re just used to go leafleting.”
Mr Duffin is the party’s current PPC in Uxbridge & South Ruislip – where Boris Johnson is standing for the Conservatives.
Flo Lewis, the new head of UKIP’s LGBT group, said: “I hope to not only educate the members of UKIP about LGBT* issues and concerns but also challenge the perceptions the LGBT* community have regarding UKIP.”
An image of former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey will reportedly be removed from a building at King’s College London, after objections from LGBT campaigners.
King’s alumnus Lord Carey had been featured on the side of a building at the Strand campus entrance for several years, alongside other notable alumni including Desmond Tutu.
However, campaigners raised concerns about the message it sends due to the Archbishop’s long record of opposing gay rights, tabling an amendment to ‘wreck’ the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords.
He was roundly criticised in 2012, after an apparent comparison between opponents of equal marriage and Jews during the Holocaust.
According to student newspaper Roar News, KCL Principal Ed Byrne has agreed to ‘refresh’ the area’s design and remove the image of Lord Carey.
Campaigner Ben Hunt said: “Currently provisional discussions are under way for a change in the Strand windows.
“The Principal has stated that this process will involve the formation of a committee to decide the new alumni for the front of Strand.
“The scheme is an attempt to be more inclusive of different identities around King’s.
“This scheme will also mean the removal of Lord Carey and the inclusion of minorities in the discussions for new alumni.”
The former Archbishop of Canterbury graduated from the college in 1962 with a 2:1 Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree and was subsequently ordained.
Campaigners have been pressing for the change for a number of years, with Peter Tatchell backing the campaign in 2012.
Lord Carey previously said: “Same sex relationships are not the same as heterosexual relationships and should not be put on the same level.”
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