Matthew Wright: Final wish of gay icon Elizabeth Taylor was to have blue plaque outside London home

Elizabeth Taylor died in 2011 (Photo: Twitter) Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics HIVAIDSgay iconchannel 5GTGay TimesElizabeth TaylorMatthew Wright Share on WhatsApp 4 reader comments

Channel 5 presenter Matthew Wright says the late Elizabeth Taylor should be honoured with a blue plaque outside her London home for her campaigning work on HIV.

Wright became friends with the actress in 1999, whilst working as a showbiz journalist at The Daily Mirror.

Speaking to GT (Gay Times), Wright recalled the moment he met Taylor at a hotel bar. She was in the UK to receive the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award.

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Paul O’Grady: Drag queens were the Vera Lynns of south London in the 1980s

Paul O’Grady: ‘We were the soldiers’ Share on WhatsApp 4 reader comments

Broadcaster and comedian Paul O’Grady has described what it meant to be a drag queen at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

The presenter was interviewed for a heritage project uncovering the LGBT history of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in south London.

O’Grady, who performed at the RVT for eight years as his comedic alter ego, Lily Savage, credits the venue for his success in the world of mainstream entertainment.

He also believes drag performers at the RVT played a vital role in the 1980s when scores of young men were dying from AIDS.

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London: Police appeal for woman who filmed Vauxhall bar death

Adam Hird died following the incident

Police have appealed for a woman to come forward who filmed an incident outside a gay-friendly Vauxhall club in which a man died.

30-year-old Adam Hird died in the early hours of Sunday June 15 outside the No. 65 bar in Vauxhall – next door to a gay sauna – after an altercation in which he was reportedly restrained by security staff.

Four men were arrested at the scene on suspicion of assault.

Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Sharon Marman, said: “Obviously I am very keen to secure any footage of the incident as it could be very important to this investigation.

“I would like to reassure this woman that she is not in any trouble and that she can contact the police with the confidence that she will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.”

A statement from Adam Hird’s family said: “Adam was full of life, he was kind, gentle and funny and the youngest member of our close family.

“Adam was a qualified private pilot and loved to fly, he was just finishing his aerobatic qualification and hoped one day to be a commercial pilot.

“We never imagined that this could happen, right here, so close to where we live, where he should have been safe. We are deeply shocked and distraught at what has happened to Adam.

“We understand that a young blonde woman and possibly others may have recorded the incident on their cell phones. We sincerely ask that anyone who witnessed or recorded the incident please contact the police so we can secure the footage.

“We wish to offer a reward of

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Consultation launched into tackling hate crime in London

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said he would prioritise tackling hate crimes in the capital Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics LondonHate crimeBoris JohnsonMayor of London Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

A consultation has been launched into how to tackle hate-crime in the capital city.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime seeks the views of Londoners and organisations, aiming to increase the confidence of communities to report hate crimes to police.

The initiative is also intended to better support victims and ensure more effective enforcement against those who perpetrate hate crimes.

Dealing with hate crime has been made a priority by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who has pledged to develop a new strategy, and will work with partners including the Metropolitan Police Services, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice.

Voluntary and community organisations across London will also be consulted.

The consultation will allow Londoners the chance to inform the strategy ahead of the new document’s launch in August this year.

The strategy will cover crimes perceived by the victim or another person as being motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic including race, religion, sexual orientation and disability. Hate crime can include verbal abuse, physical assault, domestic abuse, harassment and damage to property.

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, said: “London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, which is a real cause for celebration and a key factor in its economic and cultural success, but we also want it to be the greatest and safest big city. Levels of hate crime are too high and there is significant under-reporting. Working with key organisations such as the Metropolitan Police, the Mayor and I are committed to improving the city’s approach to tackling hate crime and we are seeking wider views to help us do this. London is a city where we should be free to live our lives how we choose, but not free to hate.”

Commander Mak Chishty, MPS lead for hate crime, said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms. We have long since recognised the impact of hate crime on communities and the hidden nature of this crime, which remains largely under reported. We are always seeking ways to increase reporting and the consultation, launched today, will help us to better understand how we can improve confidence amongst victims and shape the services we provide.”

Crime figures running from 12 months to May 2014 show reports of homophobic offences increased by 7%. The office notes that a range of factors may be the cause for the increase, including a greater willingness to report crime by victims.

 The consultation questionnaire can be found here

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London: Queer Social Centre to open despite ‘unlawful police harassment’

The opening of the social centre was delayed because of police harassment throughout yesterday and last night. Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics policeQueerharassmentLondon Queer Social CentresquattersHouse of Brag Share on WhatsApp 8 reader comments

A squatter-run “queer social centre” is to open in Brixton today, in protest at the commercialisation of LGBTQI events.

House of Brag – which describes itself as “a collective of queers and allies” and a “squatted, volunteer-run, non-commercial project” – aims to “take Pride back to its militant, intersectional roots”, and will be running the London Queer Social Centre for two weeks.

It seeks to provide “a non-commercial, non alcohol-orientated space” that will allow

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UK: High Court judge probes London ban of ‘ex-gay’ bus ad

The bus ad was banned in April 2012 Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join

A High Court judge is this week investigating accusations that Boris Johnson banned a bus ad from an ‘ex-gay’ group for political reasons.

The court is investigating claims that the London Mayor was politically motivated in his decision to ban an ad in April 2012, due to his re-election campaign at the time.

The advert, paid for by the Christian charity Core Issues Trust, read: 

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