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Stonewall pulls out of Pride in London saying it lacks diversity

Izzy Lyons, Press Association

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Stonewall has pulled out of this year's Pride in London festival, saying it has concerns over the event's "lack of diversity".

The charity said it will instead extend support to UK Black Pride, an event for LGBT people from ethnic minorities that also takes place every year in the capital.

The decision comes after Pride's organisers rejected concerns raised by its advisory board last year that it was not inclusive enough for non-white communities.

Pride is an annual parade celebrating LGBT rights and last year it attracted more than 26,000 people. This year's parade is due to take place on July 7.

A Stonewall spokeswoman said: "We know this is an event that's important to many in our communities and very much hope to attend in future years.

"However last year, Pride in London's community advisory board again raised concerns about the lack of diversity and inclusion at Pride in London - particularly of black and minority ethnic communities.

"Pride in London rejected those concerns from the community in the strongest terms and, as yet, have failed to make any public acknowledgement that they may need to make significant changes if Pride in London is to be an event for everyone."

After last year's event, the community advisory board released a report suggesting the event needs to improve its representation of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) groups.

At the time a spokesman for Pride said it did not believe the report reflected "the majority view" and is "inaccurate in many places which is disrespectful to the many volunteers that work hard to deliver the event".

Responding to Stonewall's decision on Friday, a Pride spokesman said: "We will always welcome Stonewall to march with Pride in the parade, and we hope to welcome their team at many community-driven events that will take place this year, during the Pride Festival.

"Embracing diversity in all its forms, and supporting organisations like UK Black Pride, is absolutely at the heart of our mission as a team.

"We are working closely with the community advisory board and are dedicated to making Pride a success for all our communities - from those who have never been involved, to those who come back year-on-year, enabling them to celebrate, protest and march for equality."

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