Mayor of London Boris Johnson: I don’t agree with banning UKIP from Pride

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said that he doesn’t agree with a UK Independence Party group being banned from Pride in London – which his authority helps to fund.

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.

UKIP’s Suzanne Evans, Liberal Democrats Tim Farron and Lord Paddick and Conservative MP Nigel Evans all told PinkNews that they disagree with the ban – and Mayor of London Boris Johnson has now weighed in.

In a statement sent to PinkNews, he said: “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.”

His intervention is significant, as the Mayor’s office provides a large amount of funding for the event – with a grant of £500,000 over a five-year period from the Events for London budget.

Pride in London also requires the cooperation of the Mayor’s office due to the use of public roads and spaces.

A spokesperson told MayorWatch that City officials are working to ensure that “all groups” can take part safely.

Mr Johnson last attended the Pride event in 2010  – missing it for four consecutive years in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

It is not yet known if he plans to attend this year, but is unlikely to have extra time on his hands now he is also an MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.