A Statement on the Removal of the Home Office and NCA from UK Black Pride 2019

In light of the Home Office’s and the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) continued discrimination against the communities we represent, and the work we and other organisations connected to us do in support of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers, the UK Black Pride board of directors has taken the decision to remove both the Home Office's and the NCA’s stalls from our event on Sunday 7 July in Haggerston Park.

When we approved their application to have a stall, we were under the impression the stall would be manned by the Home Office’s internal LGBTQ network, Spectrum. We feel a deep commitment to LGBTQ people of colour, wherever they work, and felt compelled to offer the network an opportunity to engage with the UK Black Pride community about the work they may be undertaking internally to address the Home Office's discrimination against the communities we represent.

We thought it would also be an opportunity for our community to understand more deeply the remit of the NCA (which includes the fight against drug trafficking, child abuse, people smuggling and human trafficking), but understand that both the public perception of the NCA and its historical impact in the communities we represent means our annual event is not the time nor place for this conversation. We call upon the NCA to take more steps in making clear their commitment to serving the communities we represent.

On reflection, and after concerns raised on social media, we realise it was an error in judgement to allow the Home Office and the NCA spaces at UK Black Pride. Our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern descent. We are grateful that the community has raised their concerns with us and we are sorry for any alarm caused at the announcement that the Home Office and the NCA would be at UK Black Pride.

The Home Office and the NCA will not have a stall at UK Black Pride.

Josh Rivers