Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
Ukip’s LGBT group have defended their decision to join the Pride in London parade on Saturday, despite being officially ‘banned’ from taking part on security grounds.
Richard Hendron, organiser of Ukip’s LGBT contingent for Pride, told So So Gay that he took a decision prior to the event – and supported by the leadership of Ukip – that they would defy the ban and march regardless. ‘We assembled about 500 metres from the start in order to avoid confrontation and as the parade got to us we removed a barrier and joined the parade,’ he said.
‘Within seconds the Chairman of Pride in London, Michael Salter, was on scene asking us to leave the parade. We refused, citing that their only grounds for rejecting us was on safety grounds. Seeing as there was no trouble – and no threat of trouble – his ground for rejecting us was null and void.’
Salter then requested that they join the back of the parade as ‘the group we were marching next to felt threatened due to some of them being refugees.
‘Although this explanation was not believable, as most of the group that we had joined in next to had shaken our hands and they had given positive interviews about how we should be allowed to march, I made the decision that we would compromise, as we did not want anyone to feel awkward. We therefore agreed that we would take our positions four rows back, and were allowed to march uninterrupted.
‘We had a lot of support, with people saying that they did not support Ukip but supported our right to be there. This sentiment was echoed throughout the day.’
Hendron continued that he felt it was important that Ukip take part in order to support LGBT rights both inside and outside of the party. ‘The LGBT community must stand together in supporting equality, respect and inclusion and not make political decisions that can only be detrimental to the advancement of LGBT rights and causes,’ he said. ‘Further, if you are to believe the media in that they say Ukip is homophobic, why would you want to isolate Ukip members even further when they are already isolated within their own party.’
Salter had previously gone on the BBC Daily Politics show, defending the decision to allow them to march. ‘Some of our volunteers were worried about people’s reaction to Ukip being part of the parade,’ he said on Monday. ‘As it was, they came, and we managed to get them safely into the parade. It was great that they were able to participate, and it should be an inclusive event.’
However, for next year, he promised a ‘more robust process and better criteria, and there won’t be this sort of problem again’.
— DailySunday Politics (@daily_politics) June 29, 2015
Comments are closed.