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Pride in London: Up to a million watch parade

Pride in London: Up to a million watch parade

  • 7 July 2018
Image copyright AFP/GETTY
Image caption The parade started off from Portland Place, central London

Streets in central London were filled with thousands of people as they celebrated the Pride in London parade.

The parade itself, which coincided with England's World Cup quarter-final in Russia, included about 30,000 people from 472 organisations.

But up to one million other people are thought to have lined the streets to watch the event.

It started out from Portland Place at 12:00 BST and finished in Whitehall at about 17:00.

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Image caption As ever Pride participants produced some imaginative costumes

Organisers said they hoped "all the rainbows... will work their magic and send good vibes over to Russia."

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Image caption The streets of London were lined with thousands of spectators
Image copyright Rebecca Williams
Image caption The parade was full of Pride's rainbow colours

"It's quite poetic with Russia being so problematic as far as LGBT rights are concerned, there's a beautiful synergy there," co-chairwoman Alison Camps said.

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Ms Camps said the event was taking place at a time LGBT rights issues were more important than ever as the UK is "falling down the rankings in terms of the best place to be LGBT."

"There's a real danger in this country that people assume that the battle is over and that the job is done," she said.

A recent survey by Pride in London found Britons care more about animal rights than LGBT rights.

Image caption People sport colourful sequined costumes during the parade
Image copyright Rebecca Williams
Image caption There were shouts and cheers as the parade got under way
Image copyright Rebecca Williams
Image caption Pride said this year's parade was the most diverse
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Image caption Up to one million people are thought to have lined the streets for this year's parade

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan took part and said he was proud of London's diversity and inclusivity.

"We aren't just tolerant, we are respectful, we celebrate diversity and we embrace it as well. This is a great celebration of who we are.

"In London, you're free to be who you are and you're free to love who you want to love, and it's really important we're never complacent," he said.

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Image caption Christian supporters of Pride also took part
Image copyright Rebecca Williams
Image caption Sequins and glitter were the order of the day for this Pride supporter

Among the organisations taking part were the Met Police, London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade.

Some 150 Met officers were expected to join the parade, which Scotland Yard said was their biggest ever representation.

Ch Supt Helen Millichap said people should enjoy the festivities but remain vigilant because the "current threat level remains at severe".