Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has spoken of his pride at having the rainbow flag soaring above his office in Whitehall and says: “I look forward to one day seeing the rainbow flag fly over every government building and above parliaments across the world – maybe Russia, Uganda or Yemen.”

Speaking exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk, the leader of the Liberal Democrats said: “Today, if you look down Whitehall you’ll see we’re flying the rainbow flag for LGBT Pride this weekend above my offices at the Cabinet Office and, for the first time ever, at Dover House [the Scotland Office].

“We’ve come a long long way with LGBT rights and are one step closer to equal marriage. Only the right to marry, if you so choose, is real equality, and our LGBT community deserves no less. It isn’t a just a ‘gay issue’- it’s about the kind of society we want to be.

“Pride – a show of strength, unity, and solidarity – is a day to celebrate. To celebrate how far we have come over the last 40 years and to celebrate that we are on the brink of equal marriage becoming a reality.

“But it’s also a day to reflect on those who still have to fight for the rights we take for granted in Britain and across the world – I look forward to one day seeing the rainbow flag fly over every government building  and above parliaments across the world – maybe Russia, Uganda or Yemen.

“Happy Pride everyone. And keep up the fight.”

The rainbow flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978.

Pride week, part of Pride in London festivities, runs from the 23-30 June.

Saturday 29 June is the main day of the festival and London’s annual Pride parade will proceed from Baker Street to Trafalgar Square.

Mr Clegg became the first major political leader to support equal marriage in an article for PinkNews.co.uk in 2010.

Last month, Mr Clegg confirmed to PinkNews.co.uk that the rainbow flag would once again be flown above the Cabinet Office. 

He told PinkNews.co.uk: “Flying the rainbow flag is a great symbol of pride – and what better place than Whitehall, the centre of government, to demonstrate that. I was proud to raise the flag for the first time last year, and hope to see more departments following suit this year.”

Whitehall flag 2013