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Pride In London responds to calls for reform led by Peter Tatchell

"Pride is a collective of like and differently minded individuals, who all have their own stories to tell," says a Pride In London rep.

2021-10-25

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Pexels

Pride In London has responded to calls for reform led by Peter Tatchell.

The human rights campaigner spearheaded an open letter on the matter last week, adding in a statement that it was signed by 13 more “leading members of the LGBTQ community."

Pride is funded by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and has a contract with his office.

“We are urging the Mayor to take action, given that Pride in London is no longer abiding by its contract and has lost the trust and confidence of much of the LGBTIQ community. I hope the Mayor will meet us,” said Tatchell.

The letter alleges: "Pride in London has been accused of racism, bullying and intimidatory behaviour towards some of its volunteers and these allegations have never been investigated, let alone remedied."

To read the open letter in full, and the collective's nine demands of the Pride In London team, click here.

"We are on a journey"

In a statement subsequently supplied to Attitude, a Pride In London rep said: "Pride in London continues to evolve, as outlined in our statement on 13 May (see Pride in London’s website) where we launched our 'Proud of Pride plan which included a link for the community to make recommendations and suggestions.

"We are on a journey, like many organisations, and whilst we have very recently made some sizable modifications after consultation with our team, including a leadership team made up of 50% minority and ethnic individuals, we will not stop building visibility, unity, and equality into the heart of everything we do.

"Pride is a collective of like and differently minded individuals, who all have their own stories to tell, and their own reasons for being part of Pride in London, from our leadership team through to marshals on the day of the parade.

"We are not, and will never be, a sole voice for any one person. With this in mind, we are:

"1. Regularly engaging with our community and volunteers to deliver Pride in London 2022, the 50th Anniversary of the first UK Pride protest march.

"2. Continuing to prioritise the needs of marginalised groups and individuals within the LGBTQ+ community in our thinking for the organisation and its events.

"3. Offering an open door to Peter to come to us directly and engage in meaningful dialogue, as we always have. Moreover we would like to clarify that the recommendations from Lisa Power’s report to review Pride in London’s community advisory requirements, commissioned by the previous co-chairs in 2020, were published on our website 21 May 2021; they can be viewed by any interested parties. The report was not a report on racism and bullying.

"Feedback is fundamental to our development and our ears and our hearts are open, always. We are stronger together than apart."

Attitude has approached Tatchell for comment.

Update

In a statement to Attitude, Tatchell said: "This response is vague and non-specific. It does not address any of the nine demands in our Open Letter. It mentions Lisa Power's report but Pride has still not published it in full, as we requested. The allegations of bullying and racism have not been acknowledged, let alone investigated. No action plan to remedy them has been published.

"There is no evidence of any serious community engagement. This is why a group of critical and frustrated Pride in London volunteers are holding an Open Forum this Saturday. They want to give members of the LGBT+ community an opportunity to put forward suggestions about the future direction of Pride."

He furthermore claimed: "The letter signers would be happy to engage with Pride in London but I was told by the CEO on 7 August that further dialogue was 'pointless'. My subsequent communication attempts went unanswered."