Mayor of London Sadiq Khan condemns anti-transgender group who ‘hijacked’ Pride march

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has condemned protesters who hijacked the Pride in London parade and distributed anti-transgender resources.

PinkNews reported live from the Pride in London march earlier today (July 7) as a group of radical feminist campaigners forced their way into the front of the march.

After brief negotiations Pride in London organisers took the decision not to remove the protesters, who subsequently led the Pride parade across much of its route bearing the sign “Transactivism erases lesbians” while distributing anti-transgender leaflets.

(Photo: Nick Duffy)

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has now condemned the protesters in a statement to PinkNews.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London told PinkNews: “Pride is about celebrating difference and London’s amazing LGBT+ community.

“It’s about showing those round the world that in our great city you can be free to be whoever you want to be and love whoever you want to love.

“The vast majority of those present at today’s march respected and embraced that and the Mayor condemns the tiny minority who did not.

“Transphobia is never acceptable.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (C) opens the Pride In London parade alongside Tory minister Penny Mordaunt (far left) and London Night Czar Amy Lamé (centre-left) (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Pride In London)

The Mayor was initially meant to lead the march, but for much of the route was stuck behind the protesters.

The decision to allow the protesters to take the head of the Pride parade has led to strong criticism of Pride in London, with some LGBT campaigners calling on organisers to resign.

LGBT+ Lib Dems. Chair Jennie Rigg said “I am appalled that transphobic protesters were allowed to lead the march and the crowd asked to cheer them on. This is a betrayal of the thousands marching. The Pride organisers should resign and offer a full apology.”

In a longer statement subsequently posted to their Facebook she added “Allowing them to continue, betrays the LGBT+ communities by sowing division and hatred at an event aimed at fostering inclusion, love and pride.

“Lib Dems are committed to preserving and extending rights for trans people.”

(Photo: Nick Duffy)

In an initial statement to PinkNews, Pride in London had claimed the parade “set off as planned.”

A Pride in London spokesperson said “Every year people come to Pride for reasons that matter to the community. As we found in our recent Pride Matters report, 24% of people say a Pride is protest. 78% said it was a celebration.

“We are pleased that the parade set off as planned and that hundreds of thousands of Londoners are demonstrating that Pride still matters.”

Pride in London later issued a revised statement, saying that ‘hot weather’ and concern for the thousands of attendees’ safety are why the group were allowed to march at the head of the parade, adding that organisers “do not condone” the group – although not explicitly condemning them not stating the group’s actions.

A Pride in London spokesperson said: “Every year, Pride is attended by hundreds of thousands of people who demonstrate that Pride still matters.

“Given the hot weather and in the interest of the safety for everyone attending today’s event, the parade group was allowed to move ahead.

“We do not condone their approach and message and hope the actions of a very small number people does not overshadow the messages of the 30,000 people marching today.”