LGBTI people and allies have slammed a group of anti-trans lesbian protesters who hijacked Saturday’s Pride in London parade.

A group of trans-exclusionary radical feminists forced their way to the front of the march, and after negotiating with organisers were allowed to lead the parade for much of the route, according to Pink News.

The protesters held signs with messages including “lesbian not queer” and “trans activism erases lesbians”.

They distributed flyers encouraging lesbian separation from the LGBTI community over “trans politics” and claims that butch lesbians are forced to transition to male.

The incident echoed this year’s Auckland Pride, where a small group of anti-trans protesters similarly forced their way to the front of the march.

After a large social media backlash criticising the anti-trans group at Pride in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has also spoken out against their actions.

“Pride is about celebrating difference and London’s amazing LGBT+ community,” said a spokesperson for the mayor.

“It’s about showing those round the world that in our great city you can be free to be whoever you want to be and love whoever you want to love.

“The vast majority of those present at [the] march respected and embraced that and the mayor condemns the tiny minority who did not.

“Transphobia is never acceptable.”

Mayor Khan was meant to lead the parade, but spent much of the march stuck behind the transphobic protesters.

Liberal Democrats LGBT+ chair Jennie Rigg called for an apology from the event organisers.

“I am appalled that transphobic protesters were allowed to lead the march and the crowd asked to cheer them on,” she said.

“This is a betrayal of the thousands marching. The Pride organisers should resign and offer a full apology.”

Pride in London has distanced itself from the transphobic protesters, claiming the weather was a factor in allowing them to lead the march.

“Every year, Pride is attended by hundreds of thousands of people who demonstrate that Pride still matters,” said a spokesperson.

“Given the hot weather and in the interest of the safety for everyone attending today’s event, the parade group was allowed to move ahead.

“We do not condone their approach and message and hope the actions of a very small number people does not overshadow the messages of the 30,000 people marching today.”

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