London Pride revellers warned to be vigilant after Orlando attack


Revellers at London's Pride festival have been warned to be extra vigilant in the wake of the Orlando club massacre.

Members of the LGBT business community met with police chiefs to discuss security issues after the gay nightclub shooting in Florida ahead of the parade on June 25.

Lone gunman Omar Mateen, 29, left 49 people dead and dozens of others wounded in the massacre at Pulse in the Florida city on Sunday.

Met Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the threat level has not risen since the "shocking" attack but warned people to stay alert.

"The public should take reasonable caution," he added.

"There will be more people, it is more likely people will come out to show solidarity, to show they are not scared and we would encourage that.

"We have looked at the intelligence and there is nothing to say that there is someone out there wanting to attack London or the Pride march."

Michael Salter, chairman of Pride, said a "huge" number of people are expected to attend this year's festivities to show solidarity with the LGBT community.

"I think people are feeling a great sense of unity and solidarity with other LGBT people across the world," he added.

"Londoners want to make sure they are even more out and proud, which is why Pride is so important.

"There's a determination that people should be able to live as their true selves.

"People shouldn't have to change their lives because they are worried about a promotion at work, bullying at school or violence in the streets."

He added: "I'm hoping that there will be huge numbers of people coming to the events - not just to pay their respects to the Orlando victims but for LGBT community in the UK."

Jeremy Joseph, owner of London gay clubs G-A-Y and Heaven, described the shooting as "my worst nightmare come true".

"It's been the most surreal week of our lives. Waking up on Sunday morning, my biggest nightmare had come true," he said.

"As a venue we were always told that there will be an attack, so it's a question of not if but when.

"It doesn't matter that it happened in Orlando, it's that it's happened."

He added: "We also have to think about the fear there is in London of something like this happening here - people do need reassuring."