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UKIP Has Been Banned From London Pride Following Outrage From LGBT Activists

The organisers have reversed their original stance in order to "ensure the event passes off safely and in the right spirit."

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UKIP will no longer take part in the London Pride march on 27 June following outrage from LGBT activists at the right-wing party's inclusion in the event.

Pride organisers had originally defended their decision to allow UKIP to be involved, saying, "Pride is a platform for the whole LGBT+ community, including LGBT+ members of UKIP if they so wish."

UKIP / Via Facebook

However, organisers on Saturday reversed their stance, citing safety concerns.

In a statement, the Board of Directors of LGBT+ London Community Pride said, "for this year we have reached the decision that UKIP's application to join the Pride in London Parade, 27th June 2015, 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."

"Considering that the EDL and BNP are banned, I'm very glad to hear that UKIP has been removed from Pride," Sarah Gillborn, who set up a petition opposing UKIP's participation in the event, told BuzzFeed News,

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"No one can deny that UKIP has LGBTQ members, who of course have every right to attend Pride and celebrate with everybody, but to march under the banner of UKIP, a party that is so inherently homophobic as well as racist and sexist, is unacceptable," Gillborn, from Leeds Beckett University, said.

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"UKIP as a political party does not care for LGBTQ rights, and the group is absolutely not welcome at Pride," Gillborn added.

UKIP's chair of LBGT has said that the move marks "a sad day for diversity and freedom."

UKIP #LGBT Chair Flo Lewis - Decision to ban #UKIP from Pride Parade a "sad day for diversity and freedom."

"We should, I think, be very sorry that this decision has been made, equally we are sorry that the organising committee and Board of London Pride 2015 has been put under the sort of pressure it has over the past few days," Flo Lewis of UKIP said in a statement to the press.

On Twitter, the response has been mixed, with some people suggesting that freedom of expression should allow the inclusion of all.

I'm against everything UKIP stand for. But freedom of expression is fundamental. They shouldn't be denied chance to join London LGBT Pride

London Gay Pride, a celebration of diversity, bans Ukip Britain's third largest party. How diverse is that

While others are more than happy for UKIP not to be taking part...

Oh man, 'Ukip should be allowed to march at Pride because liberalism' is such a Bad Opinion.

If UKIP LGBT are allowed to march at Pride I'm gonna go to my 1st Pride and march behind them with a super soaker full of piss

Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Laura Silver at laura.silver@buzzfeed.com.

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