The chair of Pride London has resigned following the shock announcement last week that WorldPride 2012 would be stripped back at the last minute.

Dr Patrick Williams stood down with immediate effect yesterday following criticism of the entire Pride London board and calls for them to resign.

“Pride London is today announcing that long-standing board member Tony Hughes has taken over as Interim Chair of the charity,” a notice read yesterday.

“The appointment follows the resignation of Dr Patrick Williams but will not affect this weekend’s World Pride celebrations.

“Dr Williams resigned from his position following criticism of the Board’s handing of World Pride 2012. The rest of the Board remains unchanged and committed to delivering an event London can be proud of. As previously confirmed this will be a scaled-down event from the original plans.”

In an announcement last week, it was revealed that the parade had been scaled back to a walking event with floats banned and events cancelled ahead the WorldPride event in London, due to lack of funding.

Organisers said corporate and community fundraising had been challenging due to a “more difficult economic climate”.

“Despite creating a strong sponsorship base for this year’s planned event, there is, in the week leading to the 7th of July, still a shortfall,” organisers said.

WorldPride celebrations will continue from this Saturday, July 7, despite earlier reports that the event was in danger of being cancelled.

UK human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said visitors from around the world faced disappointment from the changes.

“The sudden, drastic curtailment of the WorldPride parade, rally and street parties is a huge blow to London and its gay community,” he said.

“The promised extravaganza looks set to descend into a chaotic damp squib.

“It will do great damage to London’s reputation just three weeks before the Olympics.”

Photo courtesy of Pride London/One Sunny Day.

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