Pride chair says there has been ‘difficult’ outrage and hypocrisy from the LGBT community
Pride in London Chair Michael Salter has explained why the board decided to turn down UKIP’s request to march.
Speaking to London Live, Mr Salter said the decision had been “difficult” because “Pride is an inclusive event, and all of us on the board also believe in free speech.”
Pride in London said earlier this month that they would not be allowing UKIP to march, saying “This decision has been made after careful consultation in order to protect participants and ensure the event passes off safely and in the right spirit, it has not been made on a political basis.”
Mr Salter went on: “We have a paramount duty to the protection and welfare of our volunteers.
“Pride cannot take place unless we have 6 to 700 volunteers who are happy to turn up, who feel capable in the roles that they’ve been trained to do. If the stewards are a little bit nervous about the reaction to any group in the parade and they start not turning up then it actually puts into jeopardy the bigger picture of Pride itself.”
“Personally I found it very difficult at times in this process to see the level of outrage, anger and hypocrisy in part from members of the LGBT community.
But when you’ve got people who are threatening to do sit in and disrupt the parade, to turn up with all sorts of unmentionable revolting things to chuck at another group, people who are threatening intimidation and violence – I don’t look at this and think, “well what’s going to happen to the UKIP group”.
“I don’t think about the people who are going to or say whatever they want to do towards the UKIP group, I just think about the volunteers.”
“If I have a volunteer standing by the side of the road who finds themselves in a situation where they feel deeply uncomfortable or frightened … my concern is about … the experience they have, because without the volunteers there is no Pride. ”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said it is “prejudiced” not to allow UKIP to march.
One of the marchers from the original Pride march in London, Frankie Green, wrote an open letter to UKIP, saying that letting them march would be “an affront to our history“.
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