Jonathan Knott

Former British ambassador to Hungary, Budapest

Part of UK in Hungary

15th July 2013 Budapest, Hungary

Gay Pride Parade 5 July 2013

Guest blog by Director of British Council Hungary Simon Ingram-Hill

Last Saturday was Gay Pride Parade, and the third I have now been on in Budapest. Quite why it is called a parade I am not sure, more of a stop-start amble but a lot of fun all the same. I was there to represent the UK’s commitment and give support to this event and human rights in general.

I walked with a colleague from one of the other 18 embassies which had just issued a press declaration in support of LGBTQ communities. And we talked to a number of fellow “paraders” along the way, mentioning our own embassy affiliations – that seemed important.

There were some 8-10,000 of us, a record turn-out apparently. We walked along Andrássy from Heroes’ Square to Olympia park near Parliament, and there was very much the carnival atmosphere   not quite Rio but definitely fun.


This has been the trend I have noticed – it now feels like an established event with less tension year on year. I didn’t see any helmeted policemen this time, and, though security was very much in evidence, it was more low-key. But it was definitely there, with the whole of the route sealed off to keep protesters out. Last year I thought this was a shame – let everyone mingle and interact, was my view. This time I wasn’t so sure – I got up quite close to take this pic – and you can see, there’s a lot of aggression on the other side of the fence.


That said, it’s incredibly important that such parades can take place, they can’t everywhere by any means even in Europe – and one can only hope, little by little that they become more readily accepted, perhaps even un-necessary.

As last year, the parade finished with a number of speeches and performances. MEP Ulricke Lunack spoke movingly of her own story and highlighting in her case, the significance of “coming out” (one reason being to forestall any possibility of blackmail. Others stressed the importance of such events and increasing participant numbers year on year with the hope that the PM himself would take part.

There’s still some way to go.  And these events still need our support.


1 comment on “Gay Pride Parade 5 July 2013

  1. Are you the Simon Ingram Hill who was at Durham University 72-75? If so give us a buzz! I was there and knew you. Well done with your career at the British Council!

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About Jonathan Knott

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take up his post. He left this post on April…

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to
Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take
up his post. He left this post on April 2015.
He has previously held a variety of diplomatic posts at home and
abroad, several with a particular focus on commercial and corporate
finance issues. Jonathan has served in a number of positions in the
British Diplomatic Service since joining in 1988:
Before his appointment was Deputy Head of Mission and Director for Trade and Investment in South Korea from 2008 to 2011.Between 2005 and 2008 he held the post of Deputy Finance Director in the FCO.From 2000 to 2005 he served as First Secretary (Trade, Corporate Affairs and Finance Negotiator) in UKDel OECD Paris.From 1996 to 2000 he was First Secretary (Head of Political/Economic/Aid Section) in Mexico.From 1995 to 1996 he worked in the FCO as Deputy European Correspondent at the EU Directorate.Between 1991 and 1995 he served as Third later Second Secretary (Political / Press and Public Affairs) in Havana.From 1990 to 1991 he was Desk Officer in the FCO’s First Gulf War Emergency Unit.Between 1988 and 1990 he worked as Desk Officer in the FCO in the Anti Drugs Cooperation Department.
Jonathan holds an MA in law from Oxford University, and he is a
member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He speaks
English, French, Spanish and Hungarian. He is married to Angela Susan
Knott and has one daughter and two sons.

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