In 2004, when he was mayor of the capital, Ken Livingstone invited radical preacher Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to speak in London and has frequently defended him and their relationship in the media. Now a number of people worry about Ken and his defence of al-Qaradawi. This is why....
In 2008 al-Qaradawi was refused an entry visa to the Britain and managed to get himself barred from entering France in 2012. Has has quite uncompromising views on a number of issues, for example al-Qaradawi told The Guardian that wife-beating was neither "obligatory nor desirable" but that he "accepts it as a method of last resort – though only lightly". He went onto to state on Channel 4 News that beating up women was justifiable in certain circumstances.
He has views on female genital mutilation as well. He said that female circumcision is "not required" in his book, Modern Fatwas, but added that "whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world."
Perhaps unsurprisingly al-Qaradawis views on homosexuality are uncompromising as well, because he believes that it should be punishable by death.
So actually I can well believe that Ken Livingstone wants to close every club in London, especially if we judge him by the company that he keeps.
So it doesn't look like Ken will get to close every lap dancing club in London. I hope that some of Kens missing votes were from those whose jobs he threatened in a half arsed bid for profile. Still, maybe he can become Objects new Campaign Manager, I understand that there's a vacancy....
Maybe the bad new is that City and East have voted in John Biggs of the Labour Party as their GLA candidate. John, who is keen on freedom of expression as long as the views expressed are his, said this about the venues in Tower Hamlets with active licenses...
“Residents have told me that they just don't want lap-dancing clubs on their doorstep. I hope that the councils in the East End will listen to residents' concerns and refuse to grant licences to these places."
That said, he expressed his view probably before he knew that one of the places he is so keen to close is a long established gay venue, The White Swan.
There is maybe a positive side though, Lutfurs Independent crew were trashed in Tower Hamlets and this just might signal a shift in alliances in the cabinet.