A 19-year-old has been arrested after two men were stabbed outside the Two Brewers nightclub in Clapham in a suspected homophobic attack.
The two men were approached by a man who attacked them with a knife around 10.15pm on Sunday August 13 before he ran away.
Both men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were taken to hospital for treatment and have since been discharged.
One victim, named only as Neil, wrote on Instagram following the attack: “I could never be prouder or more gay than I am today”.
“I’ve not been left feeling sad, nor angry, or confused,” he wrote. “I’ve just been left so many questions.”
He said it has led him to ponder what can make someone “feel it’s OK [to] attack anyone...and how we change that”.
The attack shocked Londoners and left the local community “alarmed and devastated”.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan called the double stabbing “abhorrent” and voiced his support for London’s LGBT+ community.
He said: “Let me be clear: I will never quieten down my allyship. I’ll never stop fighting for the safety, rights and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community. I am committed to stamping out hate crime in our city.”
Detective Superintendent Vanessa Britton, Central South Command Unit, said on Thursday: “This arrest marks a significant development in our investigation. The two victims have been informed and continue to be supported by our officers, including our dedicated LGBT+ Community Liaison Officer (CLO).
“I know the concern and distress this horrific incident has caused among the LGBT+ community and I want to reassure them - and Londoners as a whole - that a team of officers is working diligently to investigate.”
Officers are continuing to follow-up lines of enquiry provided by witnesses and members of the public, the Met said.
PC Hayley Jones who is the dedicated LGBT+ Community Liaison Officer (CLO) for Lambeth and Southwark added: “We understand some people from the LGBT+ community may not have the confidence to speak to police; my role was introduced to provide a dedicated LGBT+ point of contact to support the community and advise on investigations where homophobia and transphobia is a motive.
“You can contact me directly for advice and support, or to assist this investigation.”
Witnesses praised security staff at the Two Brewers, who reportedly helped keep other patrons safe from the attack on the night.
One described leaving the premises to find “police everywhere”. “It was horrific,” they said.
“We were having the best time then something like this happened. I literally cried all the way home thinking that could have been any of our lot. Also those poor guys. It’s f****ing 2023 I’m still shaken by it today.”
Drag performer Mary Mac, who was at the venue at the time, said: “It’s shocking and disgusting that in 2023 this is becoming frighteningly more frequent.
“The team at The Two Brewers were incredible in dealing with this and keeping us inside the venue safe, glad the victims have been discharged and hope they are with loved ones now to help.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD 7198/13Aug. You can also provide information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you wish to contact the Lambeth and Southwark LGBT+ CLO please contact PC Hayley Jones on 07825101104 or Hayley.Jones@met.police.uk.