Call for new board over allegations of bullying and racism, Pride in London

The current board of Pride in London should be abolished and replaced, says a group of former organizers.

A “damning report” on accusations of racism and bullying by the board has yet to be released, leading to allegations of a “cover-up.”

An open letter, coordinated by activist Peter Tatchell, calls on the Mayor of London to act.

Sadiq Khan said he was “fully committed to supporting the community” to hold the event.

Pride in London said the organization is constantly evolving and will never be “a single voice for a person.”

The main topics focus on racism and bullying allegations, which have not yet been resolved despite an independent investigation that made critical recommendations nine months ago.

In March, all 10 members of the Pride in London Community Advisory Board (CAB) resigned, citing a “hostile environment” for coloured volunteers.

Founded in 2012, CAB advised directors on inclusiveness issues and helped Pride in London fulfill its commitment to openness and transparency.

The group is now calling on the Mayor of London to launch an investigation ahead of next year’s 50th anniversary of the event into what they claim to look like a “cover-up.”

“A festival and a protest”
Mr Tatchell, who is a patron of Pride in London, says this has left the board “no obvious community oversight” as his contract with the Mayor of London requires.

He said: “We call on the mayor to take action as Pride in London no longer adheres to its contract and has lost the trust of much of the LGBTIQ community.

“The successful Reclaim Pride march on July 24 shows that there is a longing for change, especially for a truly inclusive, community-based Pride and a Pride that is both a celebration and a protest for LGBTIQ human rights.”

The letter contains nine demands because “a broad cross-section of the LGBTIQ community” has concerns that leadership is “self-appointed, non-transparent, and un oversighted and accountable.”

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The current plans are “far too corporate and commercial,” the letter says, and allow companies to “exploit” the LGBTIQ community instead of celebrating and protecting their human rights.

“We are on a journey”

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said the city will always be “a beacon of inclusivity, acceptance and diversity” and said Mr Khan was “fully committed to supporting the community to provide a safe and inclusive event”.

He added: “The views and contribution of our city’s vibrant and diverse LGBTQ+ community are critical to shaping successful Pride in London events.”

A spokesperson for Pride in London said: “We are on a journey like many organisations, and although we have recently made some significant changes after consulting with our team, including a leadership team made up of 50% minorities and ethnicities, we will not cease to put visibility, unity and equality at the heart of everything we do, to build.”

He added that the investigation was “not a report on racism and bullying” and said the report’s recommendations were published on Pride’s website in London in May.

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