Our Petition  Was Presented to Parliament on 14th December  by Labour MP for Hull  North, Diana JOhnson
Our Petition Was Presented to Parliament on 14th December by Labour MP for Hull North, Diana JOhnson

We would like to thank Diana for presenting the petition. We would also like to thank all those who signed the petition since it was launched at Hull Pride in 2015 and those who worked to promote it.

The petition read [this petition] declares that there are many people who were convicted of gross indecency and related ‘homosexual offences’ prior to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 ,further that these offences were decriminalised by that Act and would not now be an offence and,further, that any person,alive or deceased should be exonerated.”

It should be noted that this goes much further than the Current Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. This made provision for living ‘offenders’ to apply for a pardon. The deceased had no such right for applications to be made on their behalf. The governments self-proclaimed Turing Law would alter this so that the deceased would receive an automatic pardon but the living would still have to apply.This provision lead SNP John Nicholson to introduce aPrivate Members Bill that woul extend automatic pardons to the living.

We support the idea that pardons should be automatic for victims living and dead BUT we believe they should be EXONERATIONS —as they would not have the stigma of original guilt that goes with a pardon

In all cases exonerations or pardons would be limited to convictions for offences that are no longer criminal offences

The Nicholson Bill

This Private Members Bill was introduced on 20th October when it caused great anger among MPs when it was sabotaged by Justice [ha ha] Minister Sam Gyimah who talked the bill out and claimed that the bill could lead to people being pardoned for Acts that were still offences-such as sex with minors because the bill was not watertight. {A claim hotly disputed by expert legal opinion
There were shouts of shame as Gyimahs tactics ensured that no vote was taken. The next debate was scheduled for 16th December but was not reached . It is now been re-scheduled for 20th January . Nothing further has been heard of the governments trumpeted “Turing Act” Their tactics have been shamefully negative.

Gay Labour MP Chris Bryant was nearly moved to tears during the debate and said this on the governments declared intention of denying the living an automatic pardon

Chris Bryant M.P.
Chris Bryant M.P.

In an impassioned speech Mr Bryant said there was a ‘real problem’in forcing those still alive to go through a new process to clear their names.He questioned why those involved—who may be in their eighties-would want to dredge up what had been a ‘brand’ on their lives and which may have caused ‘terrible problems’in their family social and work lives

“Why on earth would you want to write to the Home Secretary and say ‘Please-can I be pardoned’
Why on earth would you want to go through a process all over again? Why on earth would you want someone to analyse whether you were guilty at all way back then?”

Precisely so—–and indeed very very few have applied

The Irish Show The Way ‘Apology and Exoneration’ Bill introduced

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Meanwhile,on the very day that the UK parliament failed to find time to debate John Nicholsons far more modest bill, the Irish Labour Party was introducing a ‘Covictions for Certain Sexual Offences [Apology and Exoneration ] Bill into the Dail [Irish Parliament]

Introducing it Ged Nash TD said the following

“[The Bill] provides for an APOLOGY from the state and EXONERATION for those engaging in sexual offences that have since been abolished. but it goes further than this,to officially acknowledge that the ‘offences’ were ‘improperly discriminatory ,contrary to human dignity and infringed personal dignity. Nothing we can do or say will ever truly make up for the hurt and marginalisation —-imposed on gay citizens for decades and caused so many people to live with a crushing and enduring fear of being ‘found out’ But in apologising for what we did in the past and acknowledging that we were wrong,we might ease some of that pain.”

And indeed the Senator is right. We cannot re-write history but we CAN seek to make what limited redress we can. The Irish Bill has all party support and is likely to become law.
Homosexuality was only legalised in the Irish Republic in 1993. The UK [well parts of it] celebrate the 50th anniversary of partial decrimnalisation this year
On this matter we are light years behind the Irish We too need an Irish style Apology and Exoneration Act

A Pardon—-especially the limited one on offer —is not enough. But for this Government ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’

CWL 2/1/17

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World Aids Day was first held in 1988 and has always been the opportunity to stand together in solidarity and for people everywhere to come together in memory of those who have died,to show their support for those living with HIV and to campaign for proper health care both those living with HIV and those at risk. We celebrate the progress that has been made but we campaign against the ignorance and prejudice that has all too often placed people in peril.
Thus we give notice of two vigils in Hull and also give notice of our continuing campaigns for mandatory lgbt friendly sex and relationships education in all U.K. schools and call for full funding for PrEP to be provided by the NHS.

THE VIGILS IN HULL

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Hull Cornerhouse has been active in supporting people threatened by or living with HIV/AIDS since the very earliest days of the epidemic.The Hardy Fund for those in Hull facing hardship continues and donations are welcome

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The other event is being organised by Mesmac. It will consist of the creation of a Human Red Ribbon of Light . This will take place at 6.30 at the new amphitheatre opposite The Deep . The plan is for participants to be given red lights to hold up and create the ribbon in order to celebrate progress made but also to demonstrate our opposition to HIV related stigma which still places many needlessly in peril
Free tickets for this event can be obtained from eventbrite at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/human-red-ribbon-world-aids-day-tickets

Campaign for full NHS funding for PrEP.

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We welcome the decision of the High Court recently that the NHS in England DOES have the power to pay for drugs that will protect thousands of people from HIV infection and that therefor this provision was not the responsibility of cash strapped local council public health departments. However there is a huge catch because the NHS will still be able to claim that it does not have the cash to fully fund this treatment everywhere. Other needful groups might be given higher priority. Gay men should not be in competition with-for example children with cystic fibrosis. The moral disapproval of the Daily Mail should not be the basis on which tresatment should be provided. Groups should not be in competition with each other. Provision should not be a post code lottery—it should be provided on the basis of need—and be properly funded
We launched our petition on this at 2016 Pride—-and—sadly –the campaign has to go on.

The text reads

Commissioning of Pre-Exposure Prphylaxis on the NHS

The Petition of citizens of the UK

Declares that there are benefits that can be brought ,both in cost,and to the health of the public,should the NHS commission treatment of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis drugs which are recognised to significantly reduce a persons risk of HIV infection,to those who are considered at high risk of being exposed to the HIV virus.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to ensure that NHS England provide and fully fund Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis treatment to high risk persons ,at the earliest opportunity, in order to save lives and costs.

CWL 26/11/2016

trans-logoThis Sunday, November 20th, marks the annual event in which we remember those who’s lives have been taken from them because society could not accept their chosen gender.
Some of these people have been murdered in brutal ways, others took their own lives because they could no longer cope. Either way, it is a human tragedy, and one which is showing no signs of going away.
It can only be a good thing that the Transgender Day of Remembrance is commemorated, however, whilst we all may take a moment out of our day on Sunday, these problems are around us every day, and the souls who have been lost should never, ever be forgotten.

If you would like to attend a vigil locally, please have a look at the poster belowLUCY A4 LEAFLET jan to may

A City Wide Read- In will discuss this book in January
A City Wide Read- In will discuss this book in January
The Play 'Heroo ' will be performed in  July  at NAPA and Kardomah  94. Details to follow
The Play ‘Heroo ‘ will be performed in July at NAPA and Kardomah 94. Details to follow
ass=”thumbnail” href=”http://www.hulllabourlgbt.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Billany-Soldier.jpg”>Hull's Lost Hero to be celebrated at last Hull’s Lost Hero to be celebrated at last[/caption]

The story of ‘Our Dan’-writer,teacher, fighter against injustice, struggler with his sexuality in hostile times and war hero has been told here before. His contribution was recognised at Hull Pride 2015 when a wreath was laid at Hull cenotaph to remember the part he and other LGBT servicemen played in defending our freedoms. Now comes the excellent news that he is at long long last to be given the recognition he deserves as part of Culture Year. Provisional plans are outlined below. Details will be added as they become available.

1. EXHIBITION AND LAUNCH EVENT AT HULL HISTORY CENTRE

The launch event -open to all-will take place at Hull History Centre on 28th February. There will be a lecture by Australian Professor Paul Skrebels who is bringing out a new edition of Dans highly acclaimed but long unavailable semi-autobiographical novel,The Cage set in the Italian POW camp
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The theme of the exhibition—-which will run for the whole of March— will be “Hull’s Dan Billany;Teacher, Writer, War Hero
2. It is hoped that primary schools in Hull will be involved with the book that Dan wrote for his pupils at Chiltern Street School off Hessle Road.’The Magic Door’. This marvellous book was intended to teach history by working on youngsters imaginations-and direct involvement in historical events.,They will be brought to the History Centre which actually has a Dan Billany ‘Magic Door’ from a previous venture. Dan was an inspired teacher ,unconventional and loved by his students—if not always by his headmaster who found Dan’s child-centred teaching too uncomventional.
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3.The Trap

There will be a city wide read-in of this acclaimed Billany novel starting in the New Year—details to be announced

4 ‘An evening with Dan Billany” This will be [according to author Barrie Wheatley!-who should know!] “a review style performance celebrating Dan’s life and work’This will include music and multi media. It will be performed at Kardomah 94 on 9th.and 10th March –with a possible extra venue and date being offered.

5. Hero This highly acclaimed play on Dans life by Barrie Wheatley will be performed at NAPA [Northern Academy of Performing Arts] on 1st and 2nd July and then at Kardomah 94 on 19th 20th and 21st July at Kardomah 94 before going on a short regional tour
It is hoped that Hero will be tied in with Hull Pride in some way. [Don’t worry Barrie—we will see to it that it is!] I have been waiting to see the play about ‘Our Dan’ for so long and will not miss this one.

Derails are a little sketchy—-there will be more. At last Dan is being given the recognition he deserves.Let us celebrate him

Publicity still from the previous production.
Publicity still from the previous production.

Colin Livett November 2016

SOLIDARITY IN DIVERSITY
SOLIDARITY IN DIVERSITY

Our petition from 2015 Hull Pride for an exoneration for all those convicted of gross indecency and related crimes prior to the 2003 Sexual Offences Act is being sent to Sarah Champion, Shadow Equalities Minister
The government and Labour have both previously promised an Alan Turing type pardon.
We believe that this is well-meaning but inadequate, A pardon suggests that there was wrong doing in the first place. The Law now says they did not. People retain criminal records for something that is -rightly-no longer regarded as a criminal offence.An automatic exoneration for those whether alive or dead-would remove this slur on their character.
2017 will see the 50th Anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexual relations between men. But many men continued to be convicted of offences right up until 2003. Despite the fact that the ‘crimes’ of which they were convicted are no longer regarded as such. By what logic can you be pardoned for something that was not wrong in the first place?
Hull Pride 2017 has been designated the first National Pride. We will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Act but how marvellous it would be if justice was finally done–in as far as it can be—by an automatic exoneration Of course it will come too late for many and will be little compensation for those whose lives were ruined os in some cases ended. We will remember them. But a pardon-however well-meaning will not be enough. It MUST be an exoneration. They did no wrong. The Laws were unjust and wrong.

Exonerate the other 49000 victims of gross indecency laws. Sign our petition
Exonerate the other 49000 victims of gross indecency laws. Sign our petition

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We wholeheartedly welcome the appointment of Rotherham MP ,Sarah Champion, as the new Shadow Women and Equalities Minister.

The picture shows Sarah when she joined the campaign to try to save the Broken Rainbow LGBT Domestic Violence helpline. Sarah—inheriting the aftermath of the Rotherham child abuse scandal had previously been the shadow minister for preventing abuse and domestic violence. As Sarah pointed out at the time,thousands of vulnerable LGBT people do not have adequate local services to protect them . One in four lesbian,gay or bisexual will experience domestic violence from a partner or family member.Four out of five trans people will.
Sarah has a strong voting record in supporting LGBT rights and has pointed out the dangers to rights of repealing the Human Rights Act as Theresa May would like to do.
Sarah has been appointed on the back of a very strong LGBT Manifesto from Jeremy Corbyn which we hope the entire party will unite around. We will be pleased to campaign for it,
So welcome Sarah-we look forward to working with you
And we will also be lobbying you
We have a few continuing concerns of our own!

SOLIDARITY IN DIVERSITY
SOLIDARITY IN DIVERSITY

CL 9/10/16

SOLIDARITY IN DIVERSITY
SOLIDARITY IN DIVERSITY

We post below a summary of a statement that we have had on LGBT Rights from the Corbyn Campaign. We have not received a similar statement from the Owen Smith campaign but would hope that he—-and indeed the entire Labour Party can unite around this statement in tis vital policy area. It builds upon the radical policy statement drawn up for the 2015 general election under the oversight of Angela Eagle.
There is little if anything in it with which we would quarrel—-it was particularly pleasing to note the support for the provision of Prep and the threat to hard won LGBT Rights that we could face if Theresa May gets her stated wish of withdrawal from the European Court of Human Rights.
Of course not EVERYTHING we would wish to see is there. Yet. There is no promise to outlaw conversion therapy or exonerate those convicted of gross indecency before the law was changed in 2003. We will continue to campaign for both—an exoneration would surely be particularly appropriate next year—-the fiftieth anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act which—albeit very partially-decriminalised homosexual acts between men.
In general though this is an excellent statement which every single member of our party ought to be able to unite around and campaign for

Diana Johnson et al – Letter to Norman Lamb

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1. Equality For All. Proud of Our Diversity

“in recent years we have made huge progress and gains for LGBT+ citizens—-Together we have achieved much but there is still much to do to build a society that is equal for all. I believe that we can do it together—–”

2. Creating An Equal ,Diverse and Inclusive Society

The erosion and diminishing visibility of LGBT venues across the country is a cause for concern. We recognise that LGBT+ bars and clubs serve an important role in LGBT+ society ,personal development and we must keep them for the future. We will therefor

Preserve the cultural and historic heritage of LGBT+ venues by using planning law to ensure greater protection from change of use
Maintain Britains place as one of the world’s leading proponents of LGBT+ rights and will seek to fight to secure and build on all EU securedLGBT + rights-enshrining them in UK statute.

2. Security At Work And Equal Access To Justiceotion

Whilst open homophobia in the workplace is rarer than it once was it remains a realiy.The Conservative Government’s introduction of employment tribunal fees has lead to increased difficulty in bringing discrimination cases. Labour is already committed to abolition of these fees. We will therefore
A] Implement Abolition of Fees
B] Strengthen employment and trade union rights from day one in a job such as protection from unfair dismissal and statutory rights for trade union Equality Reps
C] A Labour Government will use public procurement as a lever to improve equality in contract criteria. We will ensure that the promotion of race,gender,LGBT+ and Disability equality forms part of the value for money consideration for contracts and thereby improve companies equalities practice.
d] Public investment will enable the economy to grow and put the PUBLIC back into our public services and end the cuts to them. We will end the austerity that has harmed specialist LGBT+ services.

e] It is already difficult for young LGBT+ people who do not feel safe in their family home or hometown to move. Young LGBT+ people have long been over represented among the homeless–with research by the Albert Kennedy Trust showing that they represent 24% of the young homeless. Government changes to housing benefit have made things worse.We will take action aspart of our secure homes guarantee and end insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls and a charter of private tenants rights.

3. Equality In Education

To help achieve this we will

A}Work with schools to promote a safe and inclusive environment for LGBT+ young people and encourage the adoption of inclusive practices to ensure that LGBT+ students achieve positive educational outcomes
B] Advance LGBT=inclusion in the education system by updating the national curriculum to reflect LGBT+ historical figures and LGBT+ rights
C] Ensure that Sex and Relationship Education is made compulsory in schools with a focus on sexual health,healthy relationships and LGBT+rights and tackling homophobia and misogyny

4 Healthcare

Some of Britains most glaring inequalities are in relation to health. Austerity has affected access to distinct health services used by LGBT+ patients. These include funding for treatments,information and advice which compound the serious health inequalities suffered by LGBT+ people. We Will
A} End the privatisation of our NHS . We will work with LGBT+ groups to improve health services for LGBT+ patients-including working with the trans community to improve access to gender identity services
B We will support the right to PrEp and work with support organisations to accelerate the provision of it to those at the highest risk of contracting HIV

5 Tackling Homophobia In Society

There has been a 22% increase in the number of hate crimes recorded against gays and lesbians in 2014-5. Transgender hate crime rose by 9% last year [Both Home Office Figures} THese figures account for reported crimes only

We will take active steps to ensure that all police officers are adequately trained about homophobic and transphobic crimes and educated to understand the barriers in reporting these crimes.

We will also implement Stonewalls recommendation to work with school ,the police and local authorities to prevent crimes happening in the first place

5. Increasing LGBT + representation in democracy and our party

Our democracy shoud represent the society we represent and we are proud that the British parliament has the highest proportion of LGBT+ in the world. We must build on this record and promote diverse representation at every level of our democracy and society.The Labour Party itself must make sure that it is a welcome accessible and inclusive environment for everyone and that we are removing barriers
We will ensure that equality is at the heart of all our policies

I believe that this statement should unite us across the party regardless of whom we support for leader and regardless of our sexuality. It is of course not perfect—but it is a policy well worth fighting for
Truly we should—on this issue of equality be united in our diversity. That is a source of strength–not weekness

Colin Livett 19th Sept 2016

Today [13th. September] the Women and Equalities Select Committee issued its report on Sexual harassment and violence in schools.

The key recommendations from this all-party committee read as follows;
“The committee urges the government to act now to protect and empower a generation of children and young people’
1 The government must use the new Education Bill to ensure every school takes appropriate action to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and sexual violence. Schools will need support from Government to achieve this, including clear national guidance.
2 OFSTED and Independent Schools Inspectorate must assess schools on how well they are recording, monitoring, preventing and responding to incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence.
3 Every child at primary and secondary school must have access to high quality ,age appropriate relationships education delivered by well-trained individuals . This can only be achieved by making sex and relationships education [SRE} a statutory subject,investing in teacher training and local third party sector specialist support.

The Committee thus became the fourth select committee in just over a year to make such a call. This is probably the most radical yet because it calls for ALL youngsters in ALL schools to receive this education, and also emphasises the importance of specialist delivery by well trained experts.
The government has so far effectively ignored these calls despite the overwhelming support among professional groups, students and parents in support of them [See previous blog]

In addition Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton, is having her third attempt at introducing a Private Members Bill on the subject-the previous two having run out of parliamentary time before their passage could be completed.

It reads as follows
“Personal, Social Health and Economic Education [Statutory Requirement] Bill 2016-7
“A Bill to require the Secretary of State to provide that Personal Social Health and Economic education [PSHE] is a statutory requirement for all state funded schools; for PSHE to include Sex and Relationships Education [SRE] and education on ending violence against women and girls; to provide for initial and continuing teacher education and guidance on on best practice for delivering and inspecting PSHE and SRE education, and for connected purposes .

This bill had its formal first reading on 4th July and is due for its second reading-when there should be a debate on Friday 20 Jan 2017.

Finally there is a continuing petition on Change.Org entitled “Education Secretary Justine Greening; Make Sex and Relationships Education [SRE] compulsory in all schools.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO!

1 Lobby your MP to add a provision for mandatory SRE in all schools to the proposed education bill
2 Lobby your MP to turn up and support Caroline Lucas’ Private Bill on Jan 2oth
3 Sign the petition.

The Hull and East Riding LabourLGBT Network is also doing its part. Today [15th September], we have posted petitions on this subject to Gavin Shurker, the Labour Co-Operative MP for Luton South who is on the committee. The signatures were collected at Hull Pride in 2013, and it is thought that this would be a good opportunity for us to put all those signatures to good use, by┬ádirectly supporting the committee’s campaign.

The time has come for one more push on this and we can win. no government can ignore public opinion for ever

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We feel no child should be left in fear and ignorance just because of the school they went to.
We feel no child should be left in fear and ignorance just because of the school they went to.

Colin Livett September 2016

There have been in the last couple of weeks accusations ,centred around Angela Eagle in her Wallasey Constituency of homophobic abuse against the openly ‘out’ MP. There have also been allegations in some quarters that this has been orchestrated by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. We have no way of knowing whether Angela was subjected to such abuse nor whom the culprit[s] might be as the Wallasey CLP has been suspended. Our view—-as outlined below—-is that there is no place in our party for homophobic abuse —but neither is there the remotest justification for slurring all supporters of Jeremy Corbyn of using homophobic abuse in the leadership campaign . As explained below this is not only noxious but bizzarre given that Corbyn, Smith and Eagle have been staunch advocates of LGBT rights
Here are the views of two activists of Hull and East Riding LGBT+ Network since its inception in 2012

1, “”I support the record of Angela Eagle and Owen Smith on LGBT rights. They are excellent. However, I personally will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn because I agree with his economic policies.He has also an excellent record on LGBT rights. Judging by the large crowds last weekend in Hull and Liverpool so do many others. If Angela Eagle has received homophobic abuse from a Corbyn supporter it is utterly wrong. But it also utterly wrong to tar all Corbyn supporters as prejudiced buffoons is pathetic. Jeremy Corbyn is white—-does that make me a racist if I support him?
Guilt by association is a poor argument,and to use it against people who support a candidate with an excellent LGBT record smacks of desperation—-as was demonstrated by the presence of rainbow flags at last saturdays Corbyn Rally in Hull. Are they claiming that the LGBt Officer for Hull North [me!] is homophobic? I support Corbyn. I acknowledge the LGBT record of Smith and Eagle. Where is the problem with that?

Dan Norton

Jeremy Corbyn. Long term LGBT Champion
Jeremy Corbyn. Long term LGBT Champion
Angela Eagle. Campaigned for Equal Marriage
Angela Eagle. Campaigned for Equal Marriage
Owen  Smith at  Liverpool  Pride
Owen Smith at Liverpool Pride

Second View

” Maria Eagle,Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith all have excellent records on supporting LGBT rights. The supporters of either Corbyn or Smith simply do not understand their candidates if they indulge in homophobic abuse. Equally it is despicable to try to slur ALL the supporters of one candidate if this does happen.
Like Danny I am supporting the re-election of Jeremy because I regard him as the best Socialist. His record on supporting LGBT Rights since he irst entered parliament has been exemplary. Some LGBT supporters of Jeremy brought their rainbow flags to Corbyns Rally in Hullon 30th July.I do not even know who they were but I was delighted to see them there.
Angela Eagle has shown great courage in being an ‘out; Lesbian MP. She sent our network a very warm message of support when our network was launched back in 2012.She was born in the East Riding of Yotrkshire—-not exactly a citadel of metropolitan liberalism.She chaired the committee that drew up Labours LGBT Manifesto for the 2015—-the most radical ever put before the British electorate. I am polls apart from her on many other policies but united on LGBT rights. Similarly I do not support Owen Smith in his leadership campaign but have no problem with praising his record on LGBT rights. I hope the rainbow flag appears at his rallies too—–although of course I would like to see more at Jeremy’s

So please no abuse of the candidates and their teams. And no slurs by implication against whole groups. That is NOT the Socialist way.It is dispiriting and morally banrupt politics. In this respect at least we should rejoice that we have a leadership united in their support for LGBT rights. Let us forgo the abuse and slurs and have a grown up debate about the merits of the candidates and future of our party.

The tragedy is that party democracy has been put on hold. In the first instance the local CLP should investigate these sort of allegations. Danny makes a brilliant point about not being racist just because he is going to vote for a white candidate. He could have added sexist of course.How in 2016 do the Party rules still allw for an all male leadership? But that -perhaps is an argument for another day!

Colin Livett

The Rainbow  Flag  is  Flown at Corbyn's Hull Rally
The Rainbow Flag is Flown at Corbyn’s Hull Rally

As some of you may be aware, the dedicated LGBT radio show for the local area, Loud and Proud has been running for almost two years now. A review of the current format has been done, and it has been decided that the show will now air an hour earlier from next week (2nd August 2016). You can still tune in wherever you are on www.westhullfm.org, via the TuneIn app, and of course, locally to Hull on 106.9FM, but now between 7 and 9 every Tuesday evening, as opposed to 8-10.

You can also follow the show on Twitter @LoudProudWHFM