A SCOTTISH Pride event has apologised to an LGBT SNP MSP after a “mix up” saw a LibDem MP speak while she did not.

Shetland Pride, the most northerly event of its kind in the UK, attracted attention from the national media as it launched its first event.

A sold-out variety show including drag queens from Aberdeen was among the attractions which saw turn-out far exceed expectations.

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Emma Roddick, who represents the Highlands and Islands at Holyrood, had been due to address the crowds on Saturday July 2.

However, she claimed that she was told at the last minute that LibDem MP Alistair Carmichael would be “doing it instead”.

Shetland Pride’s Becky Robertson told The National they had “absolutely wanted” Roddick to speak but a mix up had affected planning.

SNP MP Anum Qaisar wrote on Twitter: “Sorry I’m confused. You were asked to step aside at a #Pride event (even though you’re a literal member of the community), for the straight male MP to speak instead?”

Roddick said this summed up the situation “in a nutshell”, but organisers have insisted that the decision was the result of a “slip up” and not political.

The MSP told The National: “It was a huge honour to be asked a few months ago to open Shetland's first Pride as its first out parliamentarian. Being in the march was an experience I will never forget, and I'm glad to have had a small part in a truly special day that visibly meant so much to so many.

“I would have put my heart and soul into the speech so was, naturally, gutted to be told while waiting by the stage that a straight MP was going to speak instead.”

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She added: “This doesn't take away from the momentousness of the occasion, but I would say to all allies: you are so important to our movement. But please, if you are trying to help, never take spaces away from members of the community. What you have to say is never going to be more important than platforming real LGBT voices, especially at an occasion like Pride.”

Shetland Pride said that Roddick had been asked to speak at the evening event, not the one at which Carmichael spoke.

Robertson later wrote on Twitter, addressing Roddick: “Hi Emma, I'm a committee member for Shetland Pride and I'd like to personally apologise for the mix up.

“We expected less than 100 folk to show up to the march and ended up with closer to 1000. When we arrived at the [Pride village taking place afterwards] I was straight on our merch stall, where I clumsily met you and asked you to wait at the marquee.

“I didn't have anything to do the planning and so wrongly assumed it was in hand. None of it was political, just poorly planned and naively underestimated. Please accept my sincere apologies!”

Carmichael said he had not realised there had been a mix up, and said he had been “delighted to accept” an offer to speak, adding: “As local MP I was going to be there anyway.”

He went on: “I have been a supporter of Shetland Pride since the project first started and I thought that the organisers did an outstanding job. I would prefer to keep my focus on the event and the hard work of the people who made it happen.”