Mayor of London Boris Johnson has told PinkNews.co.uk that he supports gay marriage and wants to be mayor again for Worldpride, which London will be hosting in 2012.
Kicking off the parade with members of the Gay Liberation Front, Mr Johnson told PinkNews.co.uk: “If the Conservatives and Liberals can get together in a national coalition and settle their differences, I don’t see why you can’t have gay marriage”.
Mr Johnson is the highest-ranking Tory figure yet to support full marriage equality. His stance indicates his feelings on the subject may have progressed somewhat, as he once wrote that gay marriage “can only ever be a ludicrous parody of the real thing”.
He added: “Pride shows that London is the most generous, open, diverse city, whatever your background”.
He said that London’s Worldpride celebration in 2012 would be “the biggest ever”.
When asked whether he wanted to run again as mayor to run the city for the event, he said: “I hope so. I’d be pretty mad not to.”
Mr Johnson made his pro-gay marriage declaration in response to a placard being carried by gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
Mr Tatchell told PinkNews.co.uk: “I’m very pleased. He took one look at it and said ‘why not?’
“I’m sure his support will add to the pressure to marriage equality.”
However, Mr Tatchell said Mr Johnson’s security had tried to push him away from the head of the parade.
He said: “Tory minders tried to push me out of the way but I caught his eye and showed him the placard and he said ‘come over’.”
You can listen to a full audio version of the interview with Mr Johnson below: