A rainbow flag was raised at the main entrance of Parliament today to mark the 50th anniversary of Pride in London.
Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle invited people to pose with the flag before it was flown for the first time in New Palace Yard.
Sir Lindsay said it was ‘an important moment for the Commons to be out and proud with the LGBT flag – half a century after the first London Pride march’.
He added: ‘I am delighted to be an ally of Parliament’s vibrant LGBT+ community, which allows MPs and our staff to bring their whole selves to work with pride.
‘Not only is this year particularly special for the Gay Pride movement but being able to march without Covid restrictions will make it an even more joyous event.
‘I know many of our colleagues will be marching in London at the weekend, so I wanted to show solidarity with them by raising the iconic rainbow flag over Parliament.’
The 6ft x 12ft flag was flown in Parliament for the first time in 2016 when it was raised from the top of Portcullis House for the entire London Pride weekend.
‘This is the very first time the rainbow flag has been flown from Parliament and we are delighted to mark the occasion in this way,’ a spokesperson said at the time.
One of the MPs to join Sir Lindsay in celebrating was Elliot Colburn, a Tory MP representing Carshalton and Wallington near Croydon in south London.
Mr Colburn, who has campaigned against homophobic abuse after receiving a death threat himself, tweeted that he was ‘feelin’ proud’.
He said: ‘Great to join @CommonsSpeaker and colleagues from across Westminster ahead of the Pride flag raising in the grounds of Parliament.
‘It was a great opportunity to come together to recognise progress made and work still to be done. Together we can get there.’
This weekend’s London Pride event celebrates 50 years since the first parade took place in 1972.
The first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held in on July 1 1972, chosen to be the closest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969.
Around 2,000 people marched through London.
In 2019, the last London Pride before Covid, more than 1.5 million people joined in.
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