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Former Mayor Blasts "Undesirable Elements" Jibe

A FORMER mayor has accused an influential park group of homophobia after it objected to a Sports Pride festival.
Lambeth councillor Christopher Wellbelove blasted the Friends of Clapham Common for claiming that Pride House would bring “undesirable elements” to the area.
He has also questioned whether the group should now be involved in overseeing park events in the future under plans being considered by the borough council.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) festival is due to run for 18 days during this summer’s Olympics and include live music, art and screenings of the Games.
Organisers say up to 20,000 people a day will attend and – including time to set up and dismantle the site – it would run from July 23 to August 15.
It would be on the same site as other festivals to be held on the common, such as the SW4, Ben and Jerry’s Sundae On The Common and Get Loaded In The Park.
A Lambeth council report quoted the Friends’ objections.
In it, the group said: “The Pride House event, taking place in the same month as Gay Pride, is highly likely to become a magnet for undesirable elements of that [LGBT] community.
“The event is unlikely to raise a decent income for Lambeth since much of it will be for charitable purposes benefiting LGBT causes.”
Cllr Wellbelove, who is openly gay and was borough mayor in 2009-10, told the South London Press: “To be quite so blatantly homophobic is beyond belief.
“Reference to ‘undesirables’ is incredibly offensive.” The friends group is also opposed because of the size of the event and claims organisers have no way of telling how many people will attend.