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As we look forward to another year, we cannot help but ponder the fact that if Gordon Brown had called an autumn election we could have been hearing a very different Queen’s Speech last month.
But if the Conservatives or even the Liberal Democrats had won the election, there would be gay people at the heart of government.
It is, we hope, a useful demonstration that in 2007 being gay, lesbian, trans or bisexual is no bar to political office.
As well as listing political figures, we have included non-politicians who nonetheless have considerable influence. Spencer Livermore, 32, Director of Political Strategy, 10 Downing Street Top of our list is a non-elected Labour adviser, but Spencer Livermore has power most MPs could only dream of.
In 2006 he became the first MP to have a civil partnership ceremony, but it was a relatively low-key affair in the wake of Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s nuptials.
He is currently Minister of State at the Department of Health. Andrew Pierce, 46, Assistant Editor, A ball of giggles, gossip, scandal and kinetic energy, Pierce is an interesting mix of rebel and establishment figure.
Since taking Stonewall by the scruff of the neck in 2003, Ben Summerskill has transformed the organisation into a solvent, highly effective campaigning machine, regarded with fear and admiration in equal measure.
Few think that the man legendary for spin, the Dome, the dodgy home loan and the Hinduja brothers scandal will settle into anonymous retirement when his Brussels term ends in 2009. Angela Eagle, 46, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, MP for Wallasey Angela Eagle is a hero to many in the gay community as the only out lesbian in Parliament, and for her consistent hard work on gay issues, such as civil partnerships.
Nick Brown was appointed Chief Whip by the new Prime Minister in 1997 and was moved to Agriculture, Fisheries and Food a year later.
This effective demotion was followed by a story that outed him, and he responded with good humour. The sun is out – and so am I,” he announced to a room full of baffled farmers.
He has worked with Gordon Brown for nearly ten years, and after strategy roles in the 2001 election and at the Treasury, in June he became one of the most powerful people in Britain as Director of Political Strategy at 10 Downing St.
He speaks to the PM several times a day and is one of the tiny inner circle that Gordon Brown turns to for strategic advice. Nick Brown, 57, Deputy Chief Whip, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend A friend and ally of Gordon Brown since the early 1980s, he was at first close to Tony Blair as well, but by 1996 he was Gordon’s unofficial campaign manager for the leadership, and reportedly persuaded him to stand aside in favour of the telegenic Blair.
Hated by many in his own party, his closeness to Labour leaders from Neil Kinnock onwards meant he has retained power and privilege despite his reputation.