Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
British LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell will no longer stand for parliament due to injuries, in part, sustained during a bashing by Robert Mugabe’s bodyguards.
“It is with great regret and reluctance that I am standing down as the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East,” human rights campaigner Tatchell announced on Wednesday.
“My brain injuries from the Mugabe and Moscow bashings mean that I would not be able to campaign effectively in the general election or do the duties required of an MP, if I was elected.”
The 57 year old activist said that the brain damage was caused by beatings from Mugabe’s bodyguard in Brussels in 2001, while trying to perform a citizen’s arrest on the Zimbabwean head for human rights abuses, and by neo-Nazis during an attempted Gay Pride parade in Moscow in 2007.
This, he said, was further compounded by head injuries sustained in a minor bus accident while campaigning in July.
According to Tatchell, “If I was elected, I could manage the parliamentary duties or the constituency work. But my health is not strong enough for me to do both.
“The injuries don’t stop me from campaigning but I am slower, make more mistakes, get tired easily and take longer to do things. My memory, concentration, balance and coordination have been adversely affected. I can’t campaign at the pace I used to,” he explained.