Pride in London: More than a million attend ‘biggest ever parade’on July 2, 2022 at 6:26 pm

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More than a million people packed London for Pride’s 50th anniversary, the mayor’s office says.

Men kissing in front of a Pride flagImage source, Getty Images

More than a million people have taken part in the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Pride parade in London.

Hundreds of LGBTQ+ community groups attended the march from Hyde Park Corner to Whitehall Palace earlier.

Revellers wearing face paint, glitter, jewels and sequins joined the celebrations as Pride returned for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event, hailed as the most inclusive in history, included performances from Ava Max and Emeli Sande.

The parade paid homage to the original 1972 march, organised by the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), and saw revellers pass significant sites from the UK’s LGBTQ+ movement.

Floats lined Park Lane ahead of the main march through the capital, which was led by GLF activists holding placards reading “I was there in 1972”.

Thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square for Pride in London

Image source, PA Media

A man stands on top of a traffic light in Regent Street as thousands watch the Pride Parade

Image source, Reuters

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Pride lady

Image source, PA Media

Kelly Holmes at Pride in London 2022

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Pride flag

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Pride Paraders bringing the the glitz and glamour to London

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Mohammed Nazir, 24, from Bangladesh, from campaign group Rainbows Across Borders, said he wanted to dedicate this year’s pride to those who were still forced to hide their sexuality.

“Pride is about self-affirmation, dignity and equality. It is a way to meet some other LGBTQ people,” he said.

“Pride is a movement where we’re still fighting for our rights.”

Sadiq Khan

Image source, PA Media

Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer at Pride in London 2022

Image source, Getty Images

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said there was still a “danger” to the LGBTQ+ community.

“We saw this time last week an attack in Oslo just hours before that parade, where two people lost their lives and more than 20 were injured,” the Labour mayor said.

Two men holding flags

Image source, Getty Images

A person holding a sign which reads 'Pride @50 I was there in 1972'

Image source, EPA

“So, we’ve got to be conscious of the fact that there’s still a danger to this community of discrimination, bias and violence. But allies like me are really important to support this community,” he added.

“We’re marching today for an open, inclusive accepting world. We’re marching today for those in Oslo, for those who haven’t made the progress we’ve made.

“We’re also marching today for love. In this great city we should be a beacon of inclusiveness, of openness, but also a place where you can be free to be who you want to be and free to love who you want to love.”

Pride dog

Image source, Getty Images

Uniformed officers from the Metropolitan Police did not join this year’s parade, as they have done in past events, after organisers asked them not to take part.

Organisers said it reflected the “very real concerns” of the LGBTQ+ community – in particular over the force’s handling of four murders of gay men by serial killer Stephen Port.

The force acknowledged concerns from the LGBTQ+ community in the wake of inquests which concluded police failings “probably” contributed to the deaths of the young men.

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