DUP booed at London gay pride event

Police with cross-dresser Jodie Harsh at London gay pride on Saturday
Police with cross-dresser Jodie Harsh at London gay pride on Saturday

The mayor of London has attacked the DUP in a speech at a gay rally in London on Saturday.

Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of the metropolis, used a speech on Saturday to suggest that Northern Ireland’s largest party may try and press the government to undermine the rights of women and others because of its pact with the Tories.

He addressed revellers in Trafalgar Square on a day when members of the emergency services who helped in the aftermath of terrorist attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire disaster launched the capital’s annual gay pride march, joining flag-bearers representing countries around the world, including those where it is still illegal to be gay.

Mr Khan told the crowd: “We’ve had a horrible last few weeks. We’ve had terror, we’ve had tragedy. You know what the best antidote to sorrow, the best antidote to sadness, to bereavement, to hatred, is Pride In London.”

Mention of the DUP, who the Conservative government struck a deal with following the general election, drew boos from the crowd.

Mr Khan warned that the arrangement with the Northern Ireland party, which is opposed to both gay marriage and abortion, would not change the status quo in London.

To huge applause, he said: “You (the government) may have done a deal with the DUP but there will be no backtracking on LGBT+ rights [meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and more].

“There will be no backtracking on women’s rights.”

Many in the crowd booed earlier when a video message from Theresa May was played.

In it, the prime minister reiterated the UK’s pledge to encourage other countries to ensure equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation.

She said the UK “will continue to stand up for human rights, directly challenging at the highest political levels governments that criminalise homosexuality or practice violence and discrimination against LGBT+ people”.