Lord Brian Paddick: Pride should allow UKIP to march ‘peacefully and safely’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

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Liberal Democrat peer Lord Brian Paddick has weighed in on the exclusion of UKIP from Pride in London.

Organisers of Pride in London originally approved plans for UKIP LGBT+ to take part in the parade on Saturday 27 June, claiming it would not “discriminate” against them.

However, following a backlash from campaigners including Peter Tatchell, the board reversed its decision, citing “safety” concerns if the group were allowed to march.

Speaking to PinkNews, newly-appointed Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman Lord Paddick said he supported the right of the UK Independence Party members to march.

The out politician, who ran for Mayor of London in 2008 and 2012, told PinkNews: “After years of campaigning to be acknowledged and accepted by society, the last thing LGBTI people should be doing is excluding a group gays and lesbians from Pride that has a legal right to exist.

“The police and organisers should be facilitating their right to peacefully and safely participate, not using understandable hatred of UKIP as an excuse to ban them.”

Also this week, Lord Paddick endorsed Lib Dem MP Tim Farron to succeed Nick Clegg as Lib Dem leader.

Lord Paddick has defended Mr Farron’s mixed record on equality issues, claiming: “As the Liberal Democrats’ gayest highest profile member I am absolutely confident that I can vote for Tim Farron and that he is absolutely 100% behind LGBTI rights.”