'Inspirational' Durham Pride founder Mel Metcalf honoured in Parliament

Mel Metcalf founded the Durham Pride event in 2014. It now takes place annually. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The founder of Durham's Pride celebrations has been honoured in Parliament for his role founding the event.

Mel Metcalf was praised for his part in establishing the city's pride celebrations in the House of Commons by Mary Kelly Foy, the Labour MP for Durham.

It was during a parliamentary debate celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pride.  

Ms Foy said: “Since 2014, Durham Pride has brought together people from across the Northeast.

“It has been nurtured by the inspirational Mel Metcalf, and the entire Pride committee who work tirelessly to ensure the celebration gets bigger, better, more inclusive, and more accessible every year.” 

Ms Foy also recognised the founder of the annual event in Durham City by chairing an Early Day Motion (EDM).

An EDM is a chance for MPs to express an opinion of show public support to a cause, position or person. It is rare for EDMs to be debated but when they are other MPs can show their support by signing it.

Thirteen MPs from different political parties have signed the motion including fellow North East MP Kate Osborne who represents Jarrow.

The motion to Mr Metcalf states:

“This House celebrates the success of Durham Pride 2022; congratulates Mel Metcalf and the organising committee of Durham Pride for their hard work and dedication to inclusion and diversity in the North East.

"It praises the work of the team throughout the weekend which enabled people from across the region to celebrate and come together.

"It recognises that Pride is as much a protest as it is a celebration; remembers and appreciates those who have campaigned tirelessly for LGBTQ+ equality; and looks forward to the gathering of Pride in Durham in 2023.” 

 The EDM has been published online and a bound copy will be given to Mr Metcalf in the coming weeks.  

Speaking recently at the Pride celebrations in Durham Mr Metcalf said:

"What we're doing is celebrating the 50 years of London Pride but also the 70 years of Queen Elizabeth.

"We just celebrating all the fabulous queen's that made a difference to the LGBTQ+ community."

When speaking in Westminster, Ms Foy added: “Mel’s infectious enthusiasm for bringing people together to celebrate the freedom to love without discrimination is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed.

"Next year will see the 10th Durham Pride, I hope the whole House will join me in commending Mel’s fantastic work.”