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New mayor makes Gay Pride U-turn

12 June 09 17:07 GMT

A newly-elected mayor who threatened to cut funding to a South Yorkshire town's Gay Pride festival has said the money will now go to the event.

Peter Davies, of the English Democrats, previously argued that public money should not be spent on the annual event in Doncaster.

But he has now said the council will honour the £3,000 commitment it made to the event before he was elected.

The decision was welcomed by the Doncaster Gay Pride Committee.

In a statement issued through Doncaster Council, Mr Davies said: "The Gay Pride event has been planned for some time and the funding already committed.

"In the circumstances, I believe I should honour this commitment and the event will go ahead.

"I will continue to work with the Pride Committee."

Mr Davies, whose election victory was announced last Friday, had earlier told the BBC: "My policy on gays and lesbians is very simple.

"I don't think councils should be spending money on them parading through town advertising their sexuality."

'Here to stay'

Jenny Dewsnap of the Doncaster Pride Committee said: "We are naturally very pleased with the decision."

"The funding was committed prior to Mr Davies' election and we felt there was an obligation to honour that."

She added that "ongoing" talks would be held with Mr Davies and the council over funding for the event in the future.

"With or without council funding, the Pride event will take place," she said.

"If we don't get the funding next year, we will look to source it from elsewhere. We are here to stay."

The Gay Pride event, which attracts up to 8,000 people, takes place on 16 August.

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