Peter Tatchell: I’m ‘struggling’ over UKIP Pride ban

Peter Tatchell has said he is “struggling” over the decision to ban UKIP from Pride in London – despite leading calls for the party to not be allowed in the first place.

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.

Following prolonged protests against the decision – which UKIP LGBT+ plans to defy – Mr Tatchell has today acknowledged in a comment piece for IBT: “Try as much as I can, I can’t come up with an unassailable criterion for Pride participation.”

He wrote: “I don’t have a clear, confident answer. Because I instinctively dislike bans, I’m struggling. Yet I also expect Pride participants to support LGBT equality.

“For me, this is a grey, conflicted issue. I can sympathise with some aspects of both sides of the argument but on balance, for now, the case against UKIP LGBT’s marching in the Pride parade is stronger than the case in favour. I don’t feel totally at ease with this position.

The veteran rights campaigner continued: “My bottom line is this: UKIP LGBT has not issued a clear disassociation from their party’s anti-gay policies and declared in favour of specific policies to redress the remaining injustices faced by LGBT people.

“I applaud UKIP members who are genuinely seeking to transform the party’s regressive stance on LGBT rights and other humanitarian issues.

“I welcome their participation as individuals in the Pride parade and wish them success in transforming UKIP into a party that celebrates and defends the human rights of everyone in Britain – and worldwide.”