Londoners will be electing a gay-friendly mayor next month. All the main contenders have expressed their support for Pride London at a LGBT ‘husting’ (an event featuring electoral candidates) on the weekend.

The candidates were asked whether they support the Pride London event, which currently receives some funding from the Mayor of London’s office, and whether they had attended before.

Boris Johnson (Conservative) admitted that he had yet to attend Pride, but was very supportive of the idea and said that he would attend this year regardless of the election result.

Openly gay Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat) recalled that he had joined other uniformed police officers taking part in the parade shortly after he came-out, and had continued to attend the event every year. He went on to condemn the fact that Pride London receives the least amount of funding out of all the major events that the Mayor supports.

Ken Livingstone (Labour – incumbent) told the assembled crowd that it was his understanding that all major events he supported received equal funding. He then mentioned speaking at an Anti-Nazi League event in Trafalgar Square in 1977, and said he had attended and enjoyed numerous Pride events over the years and had been proud to support the event throughout his tenure as Mayor.

Sian Berry (Green Party) admitted she had only been to one Pride event, and that it had been “a while ago.” She said she felt that all Trafalgar Square events were “brilliant” and that all should receive equal support and funding.

Lindsey German (Respect – Left List) told the audience that she had attended several Pride events, including last year when she was a guest on the Respect float. She agreed that funding should be equal across all events.

“We are delighted that all of the Mayoral candidates support Pride London,” Paul Birrell, chair of Pride London, commented on Monday.

“Ours is one of the capital’s largest outdoor events, attracting many hundreds of thousands of people, and it demonstrates the diversity of our great city.”

“I am even more delighted that all of the candidates agree that Pride London deserves the same support and funding as other events,” he continued.

“We want to continue to grow and develop our event and the positive effect it has on London and its image and economy.”

Pride London is supported by donations, sponsorship and grants. It currently receives £96,000 from the Mayor of London to support the event and work with LGBT communities in the city.

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