Lord Cashman tops Rainbow List


Published: Sunday 9th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Household names from the worlds of sport, politics and showbiz have been named among the most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Britain.

Actor-turned-politician Michael Cashman, now Lord Cashman of Limehouse, has topped the Independent on Sunday’s Rainbow List, ahead of last year’s winner, writer Paris Lees, and religious commentator and musician Vicky Beeching.

There are also mentions for Olympic diver Tom Daley, Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins, and popstar Sam Smith.

The Rainbow List, previously referred to as the Pink List, was established in 2000 and has since become a widely received register of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who have worked hard to promote progress and equality in the UK.

Lisa Markwell, Independent on Sunday editor, said: “So much has changed since we started the list in 2000, particularly with same-sex marriage being made legal in March this year – but there is still progress to be made.

“This year we’ve heard some incredible stories from some inspiring people that are fighting to do just that. At The Independent on Sunday we take great pride in publishing the list, and it has been an absolute pleasure to preside over it again.”

Lord Cashman takes his place at the top of the list in the same week as the funeral of his long-term partner. Labour supporter and activist Paul Cottingham, 50, died last month after a four-and-a-half-year cancer battle. His funeral service was attended by the likes of actor Sir Ian McKellen, presenter Paul O’Grady and former prime minister Tony Blair.

Lord Cashman, 63, rose to fame in EastEnders, playing the part of Colin Russell who took part in the first gay kiss on mainstream British television. He founded the Stonewall charity in 1989 and has consistently campaigned for LGBT rights. He took his seat in the House of Lords upper chamber for the first time last month.

The top ten is completed by Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, radio host and journalist Evan Davis, presenter Perkins, soul singer Smith, Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt, England women’s footballer Casey Stoney, and diversity charity boss Suran Dickson.

The list also includes the UK’s first Muslim drag queen Asif Quraishi (86) and ground-breaking poet Kate Tempest (90).

This year’s judging panel comprised the likes of Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, and former NBA basketball player John Amaechi.

Published: Sunday 9th November 2014 by The News Editor

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