The Mayor of London has expressed his support for Sarah Brown’s decision to attend Pride London on Saturday.

Boris Johnson spoke to PinkNews.co.uk at a reception for Pride at City Hall yesterday evening.

He said he was sorry that he would not be able to repeat his well-received appearance at the country’s biggest gay event last year, explaining that it clashes with his son’s birthday.

Mr Johnson also said he was delighted at the news reported by PinkNews.co.uk yesterday that Sarah Brown, wife of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, will be marching in the Pride parade, adding that her presence would help to keep Pride London as high-profile as possible.

He also recalled his own Pride debut last year, and said he was gratified by the warm reception he received when he led the parade.

In a speech to around 100 guests, the Mayor recalled the famous pink stetson he wore last year, and showcased his classical education with a lenghty oration on the ancient Greek poet Sappho.

Mr Johnson was introduced by comedian Stephen K Amos, who spoke movingly about the lack of gay, black role models during his adolescence and his pride in filling that role for so many young people today.

Deputy Mayors Richard Barnes, Sir Simon Milton and Kit Malthouse attended the reception, which was picketed by a small number of fundamentalist Christian protestors.

Gay rights activist and Green party parliamentary candidate Peter Tatchell was not invited; he spoke to reporters outside City Hall.

More than 100,000 people are expected to march in the Pride London parade on Saturday.

Last year an estimated 825,000 people watched the parade snake through the streets of the capital.