Pride in London cancelled for second year running

Organisers say that COVID risk assessments deemed the event impossible

Pride in London has been cancelled for the second year in a row because of social-distancing measures, organisers have confirmed.

More than 35,000 people were expected to descend on the capital for the popular LGBTQ+ event, which was previously postponed from June to September 11.

However, executive director Christopher Joell-Deshields has now confirmed that risk assessments revealed the parade could not take place while adhering to government guidelines.

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“Pride, like all other major events, has faced constant challenges with regards to safely holding one of the largest events in the capital,” he said.

“I’m truly saddened to say that Pride in London won’t be happening this year.”

He added: “It became clear, when working through final risk assessments, that our event could not provide the level of mitigation expected from the local public health team and the government.”

“It would have meant losing the crucial parade, reducing the event to just two or three stages scattered across central London with limited tickets, he continued.

“This goes against everything that we want Pride in London to be or that we’ve been so far. No parade, no protest, means no Pride.”

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The London parade always attracts huge crowds, with organisers estimating the 2019 parade was attended by more than 1.5 million people.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “It is a real shame that for the second year in a row we will not be able to join together on the streets of London for Pride.

“But although our city continues to open up, we must still be cautious about the spread of COVID-19 and it is understandable why the Pride in London committee have made this decision.

“I truly hope that next year we will be able to unite on our streets once again in solidarity and celebration.”

Joell-Deshields, meanwhile, said the government should declare 2022 to be “the year of queer”.

“Tomorrow we start planning our return to the streets of London for 2022, with out most inclusive and queerest event yet,” he added.

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