Politicians from the three leading parties have rallied around the UK Black Pride festival which takes place on Saturday 18 August at the Ministry of Sound, London, despite the news that the organisation has missed out on a Prime Minister’s Big Society Award for volunteering.
UK Black Pride’s Director for Public Affairs, Pav Akhtar, said: “We congratulate the winners of this year’s Big Society Awards and are honoured that the hard work of our grassroots LGBT volunteers to deliver year-round, community-led services was recognised with a nomination.
“In our seventh year it is clear that there remains a lot of political and public good will for us to continue delivering the best support we can to Black LGBT people. We look forward to celebrating with our community at UK Black Pride 2012.”
In a message to the UK Black Pride Festival guests, Rt Hon Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “I want to convey my best to everyone taking part in this year’s Black Pride celebration.
“I am proud to lead a party that has consistently fought for equality. Together we have made great progress…UK Black Pride continues to grow and promote the values of equality and fairness, values that we share in common…I look forward to seeing Black Pride go from strength to strength…Together we can build a more equal and just society.”
The Government’s Minister for Equality, Lynne Featherstone MP, from the Liberal Democrats Party, said: “UK Black Pride is a great celebration of the UK’s vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
“Britain is now recognised as the best place in Europe for LGB&T rights, and the Pride events that take place across this country to celebrate the LGB&T community help show why this is the case.”
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, from the Conservative Party, said: “The annual Black Pride Festival [is] an important event in the Pride calendar of activities.
He added: “London is a great world city and its strength continues to be its dynamism and the diversity of its population. It is important…people have the space to celebrate their identities and promote their cultures. The…popularity of Black Pride speaks for itself. This event succeeds in providing greater visibility to many Black LGBT people who are less visible at other LGBT events.”
Another message of solidarity came from the International Federation of Black Pride’s President, Earl Fowlkes, who said: “We’re proud of our affiliation with UK Black Pride and fully support Phyll Opoku-Gyimah’s UK Black Pride team as they roll out yet another fantastic event for Britain’s Black LGBT community.”