London: WorldPride time was changed to reduce numbers
Information seen by PinkNews.co.uk today from inside the GLA confirms that the start time of the WorldPride event tomorrow was moved from 1pm to 11am in order to deter visitors from the event.
The GLA said to PinkNews.co.uk this evening that the funding shortfall experienced by Pride London, organisers of WorldPride 2012, meant it would not be possible for the organisers to deliver an “event of the scale that was originally envisaged” and said safety was the “most important consideration”.
The Mayor will not attend the scaled-back parade tomorrow, which will now happen in the morning and will not involve any vehicles or floats.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor is a big supporter of London’s Pride celebrations and hopes they will be as vibrant and enjoyable as possible. That is why as well as waiving the fee to use Trafalgar Square the GLA is the biggest sponsor, providing £100,000 in funding.
“This year’s problems have arisen as a result of the organisers being unable to finance the implementation of their full event plan, which came to light when key contractors were not paid and withdrew their services.
“It is hugely disappointing that, due to these problems, the organisers were unable to deliver an event of the scale that was originally envisaged but safety has to be, and is, the most important consideration for everyone involved.”
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who helped organise London’s first pride event in 1972, told PinkNews.co.uk the information would appear to suggest City Hall had “forced deliberate changes to deter attendance and reduce numbers on spurious health and safety grounds”.
“Cynics might say that the Mayor is not unhappy with the shambles and bad publicity around World Pride. His team appear intent on making the event smaller, more manageable and easier to control. It’s appalling that the city authorities want to downscale London’s premier LGBT event.”