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London Pride parade: 30,000 march as huge crowds line route

Hundreds of thousands look on as close to 500 LGBT groups take part in annual event
Hundreds of thousands of people have lined the streets of central London for the city’s annual LGBT Pride celebration.
About 30,000 people from almost 500 LGBT groups are taking part in the parade, watched by spectators on the parade route from Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.
The parade was officially opened on Saturday by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the women and equalities minister, Penny Mordaunt, who also participated in the event.
A further 20,000 people applied to march in the parade but were not permitted to do so after organisers capped the total at 30,000 in a decision that the march co-founder and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said amounted to “anti-LGBT+ discrimination”.
London Pride, which organises the event, said allowing everyone who wanted to march to do so was “not practical at present” and that if it did so the parade could take nine hours.
Groups taking part in the parade include Mosaic LGBT Youth Centre; Xtend, a support group for gay parents; and Educate & Celebrate, which aims to make schools LGBT-friendly places.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS this year, groups representing various parts of the health service are playing a prominent part in the parade.
Alison Camps, co-chair of Pride in London, said: “The NHS is more important to the LGBT community than ever. It’s their 70th anniversary so we wanted to say happy birthday and acknowledge the amazing work they do.”
The start of the event was overshadowed by a protest by a small group of lesbian anti-trans activists, some carrying signs with slogans such as “transactivists erase lesbians”.
The decision to allow the protesters to remain in the parade has been criticised by some.
A Pride in London spokesperson said: “Given the hot weather and in the interest of the safety for everyone attending today’s event, the parade group was allowed to move ahead. We do not condone their approach and message and hope the actions of a very small number of people does not overshadow the messages of the 30,000 people marching today.”
As well as floats from corporate sponsors including Barclays, Virgin Atlantic and Metro Bank, political parties are also participating.
LGBT Labour is a campaigning organisation, campaigning for LGBT+ rights both inside and outside of the Labour Party, including contributing to our Party’s manifesto and assuring the Labour Party overall remains committed to supporting our community. We support LGBT candidates
The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said his party stood by those fighting injustice and intolerance in a tweet on Saturday.
After the parade ends on Whitehall, performers including Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Alexandra Burke will entertain crowds in Trafalgar Square, while thousands are set to take to the streets of Soho for informal celebrations.

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