Boris Johnson: We should celebrate Pride in London but be aware there is more to be done

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Writing exclusively for PinkNews, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, celebrates Pride in London, but says there is still more to be done to tackle hate crimes.

I am delighted to support London’s Pride in London celebrations, which are amongst the biggest, brightest and best events that our city hosts. It is an important celebration that I want to see grow, for Londoners of course, but also as a major event that attracts people from around the world. This year, TfL is even installing London’s first ever rainbow coloured zebra crossing to add to the festivities.

The capital is of course home to one of the largest, most visible and most diverse LGBT populations in the world, individuals involved in all walks of life. From the arts and the media, to sports and business, they are making a huge contribution to our city’s success, socially, culturally and economically.

The increasing visibility of LGBT people is testament to London’s status as one of the most LGBT friendly cities. This is something to be cherished, but we cannot be complacent. Recent homophobic attacks show there is more to be done. Hate crimes like this generate fear, which is why it is so important that LGBT people have the confidence to report them, knowing they will be taken seriously and that such incidents will be pursued relentlessly by the police.

My Police and Crime Plan makes dealing with hate crime, including against LGBT people, a priority and we’ve already delivered on a commitment to work with the Met to ensure that there is a designated LGBT liaison officer for every borough.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) has spent the last few months consulting with key partners on a new hate crime reduction strategy. My Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, will be talking about this when he attends Pride in London this Saturday, ahead of a wider public consultation.

I am committed to ensuring London stays at the forefront of LGBT equality. There is more to be done and my office will continue to work with the police and the LGBT community to tackle prejudice and show that discrimination has no place in a city like ours. Have a fabulous Pride and let’s celebrate London as city in which everyone has the FREEDOM TO be open about who they are.

Have a very happy Pride!

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London.