Sadiq Khan says he's 'not complacent' in wake of Orlando shooting


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he is "not complacent" that a massacre like the shooting in an Orlando nightclub could happen closer to home.

Following what he called a "hideous and cowardly attack" on the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, Khan said he was taking steps to ensure that "all our citizens are safe".

At least 50 people were killed in the early hours of Sunday morning inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

"I'm clearly conscious of how vulnerable LGBT Londoners feel at the moment," the Mayor told the Press Association at the launch of Pride in London's No Filter campaign.

"It's really important that they are able to be who they are but it's in the context of homophobic crimes going up last year."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (centre) attends the Pride in London 2016 #NoFilter campaign launch

He said it was a "badge of shame" that attacks on the gay community had increased but said he would do "what we can" to keep Londoners safe.

He also said the Metropolitan Police were focused on addressing hate crimes but it was important that Londoners remain vigilant as homophobic crimes in the capital rose last year.

The Mayor will attend a vigil in Old Compton Street, London, on Monday night for the victims of the massacre.

rainbow solidarity ribbon in a window

Khan was at a photocall in central London for Pride in London's 2016 campaign which recognises people around the world who do not have the freedom to be openly gay, while celebrating Britain's progress in LGBT rights.

Michael Salter, chairman of Pride in London, said it is important that the LGBT community carries on as normal following the massacre.

"Whenever we have attacks like this anywhere around the world, (it's important that) we don't change our way of life: we actually carry on and we enhance and advance the qualities and values we hold dear."

Michael Salter

Pride in London is a two-week festival which celebrates diversity and runs from June 10-26. More than one million people are expected to attend the events, which culminate in a parade in London's West End on June 25.

Police in the UK are being asked to review security for all public events following the Orlando attacks, the BBC said, particularly events with the LGBT community such as Gay Pride.