Tabloid attack on Armed Forces at Pride London is “misinformed”

Stephanie Phillips July 4, 2008
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A Royal Navy officer has said a story in The Sun that claimed service personnel will be paid travel expenses to attend Pride London when they are denied them when attending Royal garden parties is inaccurate.

Under the headline “Gay troops paid for Pride march” the tabloid claimed “straight troops hit out at the move last night because they do not get the same privilege – even when they are going to see the REAL Queen.”

However, the paper was unable to name any soldier who objected, referring instead to “a furious squaddie” and two other anonymous sources.

Commander Graham Beard, the Royal Navy’s Equality and Diversity Policy Officer, told

“Service personnel are allowed to claim duty travel expenses when appearing in uniform attending any event.”

One of The Sun’s unnamed soldiers allegedly told the paper: “A mate is off to London in his uniform to the Queen’s Garden Party but he will not be getting mileage to go. Fair, equal or what?”

Commander Beard said that they may have been misinformed as everyone is “fully entitled” to claim.

This year’s Pride will be the first time all three branches of the military will be allowed to attend in full uniform.

Commander Beard said: “The most important thing for our guys and girls is to be proud of being in the armed forces.”

He confirmed that they will be expecting 40 members of the Navy, 25 from the RAF, 15 to 20 Army members and 20 members of the Civil Service.

The Pride London parade is tomorrow.

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