Pride in London has been defending itself after allowing controversial political party Ukip to take part in the Pride Parade.

Flo Lewis, the chair of LGBT in Ukip, tweeted her delight:

But others were significantly less happy, with hundreds signing a petition on calling on the Pride board to remove Ukip from the parade lineup.

The party faces a struggle to be accepted by many in gay community, with several of its politicans attracting attention for their homophobic views. Amusingly, David Silvester – Ukip’s councillor for Henley-upon-Thames – said that heavy flooding across England was because of the government’s plans to legalise gay marriage. But less funny was a Ukip magazine article earlier this year which condemned Manchester’s Pride march, calling it a ‘parade of depravity’ with ‘a great deal of vulgarity and wickedness.’

Ukip MEP Roger Helmer said that being gay is ‘abnormal and undesirable’ and not to be ‘celebrated’. He also said that it was not a lifestyle worthy of valid equal respect.’ And another Ukip MPE, David Coburn, has said that equal marriage supporters are ‘equality nazis’.

A Pride spokesperson said: ‘Pride in London is inclusive of all LGBT+ groups, including political groups and – as with all entrants – they must sign and comply with our code of conduct. We provide a platform for every part of the LGBT+ community and respect the principles of free speech. We do not discriminate against people based on their political affiliation, and all political parties taking part in the Parade will be positioned together in the same section. However, Pride in London will continue to monitor community reaction and include the Community Advisory Board in this conversation.’