The Liberal Democrats have demanded an Equalities Scrutiny summoning for Manchester Pride organisers amidst comparisons to the disastrous Fyre Festival.
Lib Dem leader John Leech wrote to the Chair of Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee outlining a number of serious concerns surrounding the organisation and running of Pride including accusations of racism and lack of disabled access.
Various attendees at the event which cost upwards of £70 to attend complained of terrible visibility issues for those in wheelchairs and poor crowd management for the headline event, starring Ariana Grande. Many condemned the Pride event – likened this year’s celebrations to the notorious Fyre Festival.
The Lib Dems have demanded a summoning to investigate the Parade’s security, freedom of the press, disabled access, racism and equality issues.
To jusitfy their demand, the Lib Dems says that the following allegations must be answered for:
“Security: A group of individuals were able to hijack the parade, and allowed to take part in the parade, despite not arranging to be involved in advance. There is a real danger that other groups may try to do the same in the future.
“Freedom of the Press: A photo-journalist was blocked from taking photos of protesters. Pride staff tried to make him leave the vigil, and made complaints made about photos taken from public locations. The journalist was also threatened with having his accreditation withheld in the future.
“Disabled Access: People were allowed to block the view of disabled visitors to the parade at disabled viewing platforms, and access for disabled visitors was not maintained around the village.
“Ticket Issues: People with tickets were not being able to gain access to the Mayfield venue, after restrictions on entry after 7 PM were introduced after tickets had been sold. Other ticket holders have complained about not being allowed back in after visiting the toilets near to the entrance.
“Racism: Complaints of racism from black and Asian visitors who were refused entry into bars, not served in clubs and were followed around by staff”.
Liberal Democrat Leader John Leech said, “Every year, Manchester proudly welcomes people from all backgrounds from around the world for the biggest and best celebration of equality, where we come together to renew our fight for equal rights.
“But serious concerns have been raised about this year’s Pride celebrations, including accusations of racism and limited disabled access.
“As a celebration that should be all-inclusive, we cannot let concerns like this slip and the Council has a responsibility to ensure it is a safe, inclusive and successful event.
“The Lib Dems have therefore called for the organisers of Pride, including the PR and security teams, be brought in front of the Equalities Scrutiny Committee, along with Council Officers, to get to the bottom of these concerns and ensure they are never repeated.”