UKIP has been banned from joining London’s Pride parade, designed to unite people in support of the LGBT community, amid concerns for the safety of those taking part.
Organisers of the event to be held at the end of the month said in a statement on Saturday that they had to “wrestle with a difficult issue” when deciding whether or not to allow a group from the right-wing party to join the parade.
Pride organisers said the decision was not politically motivated against Ukip, which has attracted negative headlines due to some members’ comments about same-sex marriage and homophobic outbursts. A spokesman for the organisers said: “We aim to unite our community, not divide it, and our intention is to serve the whole of our community with an inclusive event, so to exclude any group is not a decision we take lightly.
“For this year we have reached the decision that Ukip’s application to join the Pride in London Parade on June 27 will be turned down.
“This decision has been made after careful consultation in order to protect participants and ensure the event passes off safely and in the right spirit, it has not been made on a political basis.
“However, of paramount concern to us is the experience of all participants at Pride, most especially the position we would be putting our volunteer stewards in.”A Ukip spokeswoman said the decision marked “a sad day for diversity and freedom.”