Bristol Pride bans all political parties from attending due to ‘bad-faith rhetoric’

A participant poses with a rainbow flag during the Pride Parade in Bucharest on August 14, 2021.

Bristol Pride has banned all political parties from attending its event on Saturday (8 July), citing “bad-faith rhetoric” concerning the rights of trans people in the UK.

Organisers of the event issued a Twitter statement on Tuesday (4 July) regarding its decision to not allow political parties to have a stall or march at the event.

In the past week, Conservative home secretary Suella Braverman and Labour MP Rosie Duffield have been condemned for making transphobic comments. 

Bristol Pride’s post emphasised its position as a protest to ensure LGBTQ+ rights are embedded in UK political parties, with the statement noting that “not enough is currently being done” to tackle prejudice and hatred. 

“All the great work done locally is undermined by the actions of party leaders and MPs who are unwillingly or able to stand up for their LGBT+ constituents and being drawn into bad-faith rhetoric, partially about the rights of trans people,” the statement read. 

Bristol Pride is happy to be a channel for conversation in a bid to educate political party members and further LGBTQ+ rights, it went on. 

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The decision has been met with praise, with many agreeing that it’s a “powerful statement” and the right thing to do. 

Bristol Pride’s move follows Braverman taking aim at Labour leader Keir Starmer with an anti-trans dig in the House of Commons earlier this week.

Responding to a question from fellow Tory MP Nick Fletcher, who referred to a viral tweet about Mika Minio-Pauello, a trans woman and mother who came under fire from anti-trans activists after taking part in an ITV News segment on the cost-of-living crisis, Braverman made several transphobic comments. 

“While we respect all the rights of those in the trans community, it is clear that biological men cannot breastfeed,” the home secretary said. “It is remarkable that we are in a position where the Labour leader cannot define a woman. I think he said something like 99.9 per cent of women do not have a penis.

“On that basis, we cannot rule him out from running to be Labour’s first female prime minister.”

Canterbury MP Duffield, known for her so-called gender-critical views, also weighed in to criticise ITV for speaking to a trans mother. 

At the weekend, she wrote on Twitter: “Dear ITV News, I am sure this is a lovely, intelligent and decent human being. This was an important piece. This is not, however, a struggling ‘mother’.”

In April, Duffield, who has consistently claimed that she supports LGBTQ+ rights, teamed up with evangelical Christian Tory MP Miriam to ensure “women’s rights are protected at all costs”.