Pride in London: Up to a million watch parade

Pride march rainbow flag

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The parade started off from Portland Place, central London

Streets in central London are filled with thousands of people celebrating this year’s Pride in London parade.

The parade itself, which coincides with England’s quarter-final match with Sweden, features about 30,000 people from 472 organisations.

But up to one million other people are thought to be lining the streets to watch the event.

It started out from Portland Place at 12:00 BST and is due to finish in Whitehall at about 17:00.

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

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“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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Media captionLGBT+ hate crime on the rise in London

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.

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People sport colourful costumes during the parade

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Up to one million people are expected to line the streets for this year’s parade

Among the organisations taking part are 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”.

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