I’m beginning to wonder whether there is anything at all in Livingstone’s dossier that isn’t a blatant and deliberate distortion.
Tatchell is a Green. Livingstone accordingly makes a great fuss over the fact that two Green Party spokespersons – Hugo Charlton who shared a platform with Qaradawi, and Caroline Lucas – defended the man.
The impression is that Peter Tatchell is out on a limb in his own party on the Qaradawi issue.
Of course, that’s not the case at all. Two Green Party GLA Assembly members stood with Tatchell on the picket in July. Here are their statements, on the Green Party website:
Jenny Jones said, “Mayor Livingstone has invited to City Hall a man who advocates beating wives and killing gays. People who are intent on inciting violence or hatred of any kind have no place in City Hall and should be banned.”
Darren Johnson, a Green member of the London Assembly and one of Britain’s most high-profile openly-gay politicians, adds:
“Professor Yusuf al-Qaradawi has publicly supported the execution of homosexuals ‘by burning or stoning to death’. Even the BNP don’t go that far.”
Mr Johnson added that Mayor Livingstone, “who claims to be a champion of lesbian and gay equality, has brought shame on London” by inviting him to City Hall and sharing a platform with him.
And although Ken might have found one Green Party spokesman who was prepared to share a platform with Qaradawi – he’s very proud of that – he conveniently forgets to mention that Green MEP Jean Lambert pulled out of the conference to avoid sharing a platform with Qaradawi.
It is Livingstone who is out on a limb: not Tatchell.