LONDON: The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has attacked Boris Johnson for his past use of “homophobic language” and called on the Conservative leadership candidate to recognise that “language matters” as thousands celebrated Pride in the capital.
The Tory frontrunner has been criticised for historic remarks on homosexuality, including calling gay men “tank-topped bumboys” in a 1998 column in The Daily Telegraph.
“You’ve got the next prime minister using homophobic language,” said Mr Khan as he launched the Pride in London parade on Saturday, the Independent has reported.
“When you speak to members of the LGBT+ community, they will tell you that some of the homophobia they suffered, the attackers used this language, the same sort of language he’s used.
“What I want to see from our prime minister, if it is Boris Johnson, it looks like it will be, is him realising that language matters.”
Mr Johnson also previously criticised the Labour Party’s “appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it” in a column for The Spectator in 2000. The favourite to become the next prime minister issued a tweet of support for Pride earlier today, saying “Britain leads the world in LGBT+ equality”. He also reminded his followers of the time he once wore a pink Stetson.