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Boris Johnson: 'I don't agree with UKIP Pride ban'

2015-06-09
Boris Johnson has spoken out about Pride in London's decision to prevent UKIP's LGBT group participating in this month's parade, saying he hopes the issues is sorted out "as soon as possible". Organisers confirmed last Friday (June 5) that they had reversed the original plan to allow the party to join the June 27 march, on the grounds of 'safety' for stewards and other marchers involved. They had faced a considerable backlash from the public and LGBT community groups for allowing the party - which has been consistently embroiled in rows over members making homophobic and racist remarks - to participate in the event. Boris Johnson at the topping out ceremony for London's largest ever new build hotel, the 1021 room Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, overlooking the Houses of Parliament London, UK. July 21st, 2009. JASON ALDEN 0781 063 1642 www.jasonalden.com Mayor of London Boris Johnson - whose office also helps to fund the annual event has no weighed in on the debate, saying in a statement: “I do not agree at all with this policy. “I passionately believe in the Pride march and the values of equality it represents and think that all should be allowed to participate. “I hope this is sorted out as soon as possible.” Pride in London revealed they had "turned down" UKIP's application following pressure last week, 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." UKIP LGBT+ previously expressed their disappointment over the decision, describing it as a "sad day for diversity and freedom" on the group's official Facebook page. “The board of London Pride 2015 have not decided to reject our application. Instead they have decided to rescind the invitation under threats from and complaints by other members of the LGBT community,” the group’s chair Flo Lewis stated. “We should be very sorry this decision has been made, equally we are sorry the organising committee and board of London Pride 2015 has been put under the sort of pressure it has over the past few days.” The response added: “All people, regardless of creed, colour or sexual orientation, can find a home in UKIP. It is a sad day for diversity and freedom when these people are prohibited from expressing their selves as part of the wider community.” More stories: Iggy Azalea pulls out of Pittsburgh Pride over past homophobic tweets Laverne Cox first trans star to get waxwork