In a first for central Government, the Cabinet Office is flying a rainbow flag to mark World Pride being held this weekend in London.

The iconic flag has been flown on the personal request of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Officials say that Mr Clegg thought it ‘was about time for Whitehall to bring itself up to date’ by flying the flag in solidarity with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) community.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “There has to be a first time for everything – flying this iconic flag in the heart of Whitehall is a small but important emblem that the Government and this country are behind equal rights.

“I’m absolutely delighted that, with a little bit of persuasion and determination, we’ve been able to fly the rainbow flag for this weekend’s festivities. I hope this is the start of a new era of pride across the historic Whitehall village.”
 
Designed in San Francisco in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, the original flag had eight stripes instead of today’s six horizontal stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.

Mr Clegg recently became the most senior politician to join the Out4Marriage campaign for marriage equality and yesterday said that churches and other religious institutions should be allowed perform same-sex marriages.