Turns out Red Arrows will fly over London Pride, not Brighton
In an announcement which may leave the Defence Minister red faced, it has been announced that Red Arrows will fly over London Pride, not Brighton.
Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt previously claimed at a pro-Brexit LGBT event that the iconic airplanes would take to the skies… above Brighton during Pride.
Speaking at the pro-Brexit Out and Proud launch event in London last month, the Portsmouth North MP said: “I can offer you a bit of an exclusive tonight. If they would like it, Brighton Pride will have been offered the Red Arrows to fly over the city.”
But the Ministry of Defence today revealed that nine of the Red Arrows will actually perform a flyover at London Pride.
Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt said in a release: “This flypast by the RAF Red Arrows is important as it embodies the huge progress made by the military in recent years to ensure our Armed Forces reflect society. All three Services are now among the most inclusive workplaces for LGBT employees and will support Pride in London.”
Even though Brighton will miss out on the honour, this summer’s flyover will still mark the first time the Red Arrows have flown over a Pride parade.
Squadron Leader David Montenegro, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, will be flying at the front of the nine-aircraft formation over the Pride event.
He said:“The Red Arrows are honoured to feature as a part of this year’s Pride in London.
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“The flypast will illustrate the team’s role representing both the United Kingdom and also the dedicated, skilled and talented people drawn from all backgrounds serving across our Armed Forces.
“Hopefully all those attending Pride in London will be inspired by the flypast and enjoy the occasion.”
Rob Anderson, Operations Director, Pride in London, added: “Pride in London is delighted to accept the offer of a flypast by the Red Arrows. As the UK’s largest LGBT event, we are very excited to be the first Pride festival to be treated to a flypast, and look forward to them being part of the celebrations.
“Our Armed Forces have a great history of engagement in Pride and the crowds of spectators really enjoy seeing them. As the Red Arrows fly overhead, it is fitting that this year they’ll be led by the Royal Air Force.”
Brighton Pride might be a bit miffed, however. Last month when Ms Mordaunt made her previous statement, a spokesman said: “We have received no formal offer of this but obviously as the UK’s biggest Pride Festival we would love to accept such an amazing offer and support.”