Harrow Council marked the start of LGBT month by raising the rainbow flag and celebrating the borough’s commitment to diversity.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said it was important for members of the LGBT community to feel secure in their daily lives and be proud of their identity.

He was joined by other councillors and activists to ring in this year’s celebrations, which are built around the theme of ‘Peace, Activism and Reconciliation’.

He said: “Harrow is one of the most diverse boroughs in London with people of many different backgrounds and life experiences living side by side.

“It is the richness of this diversity, and the positive impact that it has on the borough and our community, that I believe helps make Harrow such a great place to live, work and visit.

“As a council, we recognise the importance of pro-actively celebrating diversity, hence supporting and organising events like this are fundamental to not only raising awareness but celebrating the diversity of our workforce and communities.”

He added that the council is committed to the ‘Workplace Equality Index Programme’ devised by charity Stonewall, which promotes equal opportunities for people from the LGBT community.

This year marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots in New York, where members of the city’s gay community demonstrated against a police raid at a well-known gay bar.

It is widely considered to be a key point in the advancement of gay rights, and Cllr Henson said it is important to invoke the memory of these developments.

In 2018, there were 27 homophobic or transgender hate crimes reported to the police in Harrow – the same number of reported incidents the year before.