Cutbacks see scaled down London Gay Pride

 

A funding shortage has resulted in a scaled down version of London's Gay Pride event taking place today.

Organisers were forced to make cutbacks when they were unable to secure funding, blaming the "poor economic climate".

The procession set off from Portman Square in Westminster at 11am without floats and vehicles.

People have also been warned not to go to Soho expecting open air entertainment, as no street events have been planned, a Pride spokesman said.

The celebrations will finish in Trafalgar Square at 6pm, earlier than in previous years, organisers said.

The spokesman said that all the agencies involved had agreed that it was prudent to deliver an event that is affordable, without compromising the safety, security and the integrity of the event.

A statement on the Pride London website said: "London and UK's LGBT community has never been one to flounder in the face of adversity.

"Despite the changes in the past week, we urge all members of the community to come out in force and support WorldPride and do the very best they can.

"Forty years on from the very first Pride London march, we need to show that this fighting spirit from 1972 lives on. Not just for us, but for our brothers and sisters across the world who are still fighting for their rights to be human, their rights to love and the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the place that they live."

On Wednesday, charity chairman Dr Patrick Williams resigned from his position following criticism of the board's handling of World Pride 2012.

Pride London announced long-standing board member Tony Hughes as its interim chairman and said the rest of the board would remain unchanged and committed to delivering an event London can be proud of.

Gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who helped organise the first Gay Pride in Britain in 1972, said despite the problems and setbacks the numbers at today's events were huge and the atmosphere amazing.

He said: "It's much more political than in previous years. The global human rights message is really strong for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender freedom.

"Nearly 80 countries still criminalise homosexuality with the penalties ranging from life imprisonment and even execution.

"We are also celebrating 40 years of Gay Pride in Britain. In those last four decades we have won the appeal of nearly every anti-gay law. All that remains is to win same sex marriage."

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The UK has been judged to be the best country in Europe in which to live if you're gay so it is great that World Pride is being celebrated here in London - especially during this Diamond Jubilee and Olympic year.

"I'm very pleased that the Mayor of London has enabled the march and events in Trafalgar Square to go ahead and I want to thank all the volunteers who will be stewarding the event and contributing to it.

"It is 40 years since people first marched in London calling for equal rights. Since then we've come a very long way and progress is still being made. We have just finished consulting on how to introduce same sex marriage and we are working with countries across the globe to bring about greater equality.

"I hope you all have a happy Pride and remember all those who have, and those who are still fighting for, greater rights and protection for the LGBT community."

PA

Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballLive: Latest news from Champions League draw
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Scrum Master (Agile, Java, team recruitment)

£45000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Scrum M...

Junior Asset Manager

£25000 - £35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Junior As...

Investment Analyst

£33000 - £40000 Per Annum Discretionary profit share: The Green Recruitment Co...

Supply teachers required in Cambridge

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers requi...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?