The elected leader of the Greater London Assembly (GLA), Conservative Group Andrew Boff, has spoken to PinkNews.co.uk about his support for Pride in London, and defended the Mayor Boris Johnson for not attending.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk at the parade, Mr Boff, who attended Pride today to represent the Mayor, said he was “proud” to be in attendance, because of what pride represents in the capital city.

“Pride is one of those London-defining events. It’s what London is all about. Diversity, inclusion, transparency. It is London, and that’s why I’m more than proud to be at pride,” he said.

When asked whether he thought the Mayor of London Boris Johnson should have been in attendance, Mr Boff defended him, highlighting other ways in which he has supported pride, including hosting a gala dinner, and pledging £500,000 funding over the next five years.

He said: “The Mayor was at one of the fundraising functions the other night which raised £35,000 to make pride more sustainable, and for the first time we’ve got a pride that has got a guaranteed 5-year programme. We’ve got stability. That’s nothing we ever had before, let’s face it, and so it’s been a massive advance. The Mayor, the GLA and the London Assembly are fully behind London Community Pride, and the way that they’ve run this event.”

The parade left from Baker Street, and will move on to Trafalgar Square.

Mr Johnson also argued this week that while London is a tolerant city, more needs to be done to tackle homophobia in the workplace and schools.

Back in 2010, at Pride, the Mayor told PinkNews.co.uk that he supported equal marriage and said he wanted to make sure he was Mayor for Worldpride in 2012.