Mayor of London Boris Johnson rubbed shoulders with 200 people from the worlds of business, showbiz and politics at the Pride in London Gala Dinner last night (25 June).
The inaugural dinner at Claridge’s was to raise money to run the pride festival in the UK capital which will culminate in a parade, rally and party this Saturday (29 June).
Charlie Condou, a star of ITV soap opera Coronation Street, BBC news presenter Jane Hill and children’s star Christopher Biggins were among the celebrities there.
Joining them were leading Liberal Democrat and current UK Business Minister Vince Cable along with Members of Parliament Justine Greening and Mike Freer.
Johnson said: ‘I am delighted to be supporting the celebrations and pleased with how well plans have been going to make this year's event a success.
‘The efforts of the individuals behind this year’s event are a fine example of volunteering in action – the Team London spirit!’
Pride in London is now run by a new organization which needs to raise £450,000 ($690,000 €530,000) a year to keep the main events free.
Broadcaster Alice Arnold hosted the event.
She said: ‘It’s a delight to host such a high-powered and glamorous event that really shows the depth of support for Pride in London.
‘The many events this year really do offer something for everyone and that’s only possible with the whole-hearted backing of the LGBT community itself and the financial support of generous sponsors and individual donors.’
During a champagne reception before dinner, guests were entertained by the Pink Singers, a leading LGBT choir that is celebrating its 30th anniversary, having been created to perform at pride in 1982.
After dinner, jazz singer Alexander Stewart performed before DJ Neil Prince took to the turntables.
A prize draw included items donated by Sir Elton John, Chelsea Football Club, gay TV comic Alan Carr and celebrity hairdresser Paul Edmonds.
Chairman of Pride in London, Michael Salter said: ‘Tonight’s event is not only a vital fundraiser but also a way to thank our many generous sponsors as well as some of the key volunteers who have given so much of themselves to put together a brilliant pride festival for 2013 in such a very short time.
‘We are honored by the support we have been given by leading politicians, hugely successful businesses and community activists.’
Gay Star News is global news partner of Pride in London. Sponsors this year include Barclays and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).