Unions question Tory commitment to equality as stage shows is curtailed and all Soho events cancelled at last minute


The TUC today attacks the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council for their decision to cut back this weekend’s World Pride festival in London.

With the city hosting World Pride for the first time ever on Saturday, unions and community groups have spent the last few months ensuring a massive demonstration of support for the cause of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) equality.

Having provided substantial sponsorship for Pride for many years, the TUC is disappointed at the drastic curtailment of the events planned for July 7th at such short notice, and the message it sends to LGBT communities around the world about the capital’s commitment to equality.

The TUC believes that Pride should be led by the LGBT communities, and will be calling a meeting of community organisations, LGBT activists and unions after World Pride to discuss how to avoid a similar fiasco in future.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “In the year of World Pride, when we should be celebrating greater LGBT equality at home, and campaigning for more  abroad, it’s shameful that the main agencies responsible for enabling Pride to happen – the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council – have insisted on drastic reductions in the event, at a week’s notice.

“London should be proud about celebrating its first ever World Pride. Instead, people will be asking why plans have been changed at the last minute and questioning the capital’s commitment to LGBT equality.”

The TUC criticism comes ahead of its annual LGBT conference in London on Thursday. Several hundred lesbian and gay union activists will travel to central London for the two-day conference (July 5th and 6th) to debate topical issues such as the impact of the cuts, transphobia in colleges, equal marriage, and discrimination and violence against the LGBT community internationally.

Speakers at the conference include Michael Cashman MEP, Chair of the TUC LGBT Committee Maria Exall, Equality and diversity campaigner Linda Bellos and Haneen Maikey, Director of Palestinian LGBT group al-Qaws.

There will also be an international panel of speakers on LGBT rights including Kemone Brown from South Africa and Kenita Placide from St Lucia.


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