The seventh annual PinkNews Awards, which celebrates LGBT+ role models, took place at Church House Westminster on 16 October and was sponsored by Amazon. Nancy Pelosi, RuPaul's Drag Race star Baga Chipz, Love Island's Anton Danyluk and Gina Miller all showed their support for LGBT+ rights.
Members of the press arrived from 5pm to the Bishop Partridge Hall, which was a designated red-carpet press room for interviews throughout the evening. The 300 guests enjoyed a drinks reception in the Hoare Memorial Hall before taking their seats for the awards ceremony in the Assembly Hall just before 7pm.
In a video message, Boris Johnson’s welcoming speech pledged that all LGBT people will ‘feel safe at school’.
Jeremy Corbyn introduced himself at the PinkNews Awards by sharing his pronouns, before delivering a rousing speech about the need for progress on LGBT+ issues. The Labour leader then presented the Drama Award to EastEnders for outstanding LGBT+ representation.
Baroness Susan Williams of Trafford, minister of state for equalities, said confirmed that she is committed to reform of the Gender Recognition Act. The Minister of State for Equalities also announced the winner of the PinkNews Business Equality Award, which was won by Manchester Airport.
In a pre-recorded message, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, gave a powerful message of support for her UK counterpart John Bercow and said it was an honour to congratulate the evening’s Special Award recipient, her friend, speaker John Bercow. He proudly took to the stage to accept the award in recognition of his tireless support of LGBT+ issues during his 22-year political career.
Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott presented the annual Broadcast Award to ITV News for investigative report “Gay cure therapy uncovered”.
Andrew Moffatt, the Birmingham schoolteacher and creator of the LGBT-inclusive No Outsiders programme, was the winner of the Role Model award.
John Barrowman presented “ground-breaking” TV creator Russell T Davies with a lifetime achievement award. Davies was honoured for his contributions to LGBT+ representation on television, including Queer as Folk, Cucumber, A Very English Scandal and upcoming AIDS drama Boys.
Sir Keir Starmer spoke about helping fight to repeal anti-gay laws in Commonwealth countries before presenting the Public Sector Equality Award jointly to Northumbria Police and the Welsh Assembly.
Dawn Butler, Labour MP, gave a powerful speech on the delays to Gender Recognition Act (GRA) reform. The Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary also announced that the Intercom Trust was the winner of the PinkNews Community Group of the Year.
Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller gave a moving speech on empathy as she honoured Ruth Hunt, former CEO of Stonewall UK, who won Campaigner of the Year. Hunt, who couldn’t attend the awards ceremony in person, gave an acceptance speech by video message, and said the award was a “real honour”.
Several auction prizes were also announced during the evening by John Barrowman, Angela Rayner and Baga Chipz.
Robin Parker, General Manager at Church House, commented: “We were delighted to host this awards dinner. It was exciting to see such a mix of politicians and celebrities together, celebrating the progress of LGBT+ rights.”.