Ken slams Boris over cancellation of Rise festival

Boris Johnson s cancellation of London s anti-racist music festival, Rise, is a blow to good community relations in the city. Rise was the biggest nti-racist festival in Europe and on that basis attracted significant sponsorship. It lost much of this when

Boris Johnson's cancellation of London's anti-racist music festival, Rise, is a blow to good community relations in the city. Rise was the biggest nti-racist festival in Europe and on that basis attracted significant sponsorship. It lost much of this when Boris Johnson dropped the central anti-racist message last year. It is no surprise that Boris Johnson is now cancelling the festival altogether. But it is misleading for his administration to try to blame this on trade unions withdrawing sponsorship, when sponsors had signed up to an anti-racist festival and obviously saw no reason to fund an event with no coherent message. There is now a clear pattern of Boris Johnson cutting funding to events celebrating the contributions of different communities to London and promoting good community relations. And, as with the loss of most sponsorship for events like the St Patrick's Day festival and Freewheel, his claims that he will save tax payers' money by bringing in outside sponsors have been shown to be just so much hot air.

Ken Livingstone

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