LGBTQ Heroes: Lloyd Russell-Moyle holds his seat for Labour in the UK’s election
Labour’s Lloyd Russell-Moyle held on to his seat in the UK election and continues as the Member of Parliament for the electorate of Brighton Kemptown.
The win by Russell-Moyle probably makes him the first person who has spoken publicly about living with HIV to win election to the UK Parliament.
He’s not the first politician to speak about living with HIV – that milestone seems to be held by Chris Smith. But Chris Smith didn’t seek re-election following his public disclosure of his status, whereas Russell-Moyle sucessfully did.
Russell-Moyle has held the electorate of Brighton Kempton since the 2017 election. This time around, he secured 51% of the vote, and his closest challenger – the Tory Party – received 35% of the votes. Russell-Moyle’s majority in this electorate has declined since the last election – in line with national trends – but he returns to Westminster to represent his constituency.
Who is Lloyd Russell-Moyle?
It was on World AIDS Day 2018 that Lloyd Russell-Moyle used a speech in the House of Commons to reveal that he is living with HIV.
“It’s been a long journey, from the fear to acceptance, and from today advocacy, knowing my treatment keeps me healthy and that it protects any partner I have…” said Russell-Moyle, noting that it was ten years since he had been diagnosed. “I finally wanted to be able to stand in this place and tell all those out there living with HIV, that their status does not define them. We can be whoever we want to be and to those who haven’t been tested, maybe because out of fear, I say it is better to live in knowledge than die in fear.”
During his speech, Russell-Moyle urged the government to review cuts to sexual health budgets.
“We start to see really the tools in our hands to eliminate HIV, really start to reduce HIV infections…” said Russell-Moyle. “But at the same time, the government is starting to slash sexual health budgets.”
Russell-Moyle received widespread support from across the political spectrum for sharing his personal story in order to advocate for one of the key issues facing the LGBTQ community.