Team GB victory parade 'should be outside London'


Team GB's homecoming celebrations following their stunning success in Rio should take place outside London, a former minister has said.

Richard Caborn, who served as Labour's sports minister, urged Prime Minister Theresa May to create a day where the Olympic team is recognised across the country.

Previously, Britain's Olympians and Paralympians have paraded through the streets of London after the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games.

Athletes take part in the London 2012 Victory Parade

Discussions are believed to have taken place for the parade to potentially be moved outside the capital, so Great Britain can commemorate the most successful away games in its history.

Mr Caborn told the Press Association: "We don't want a bloody parade around London for American tourists, that's all it's going to be; we want it for the nation.

"It's not just one area ... it's the Burnleys, it's the Hulls, they've all got their own heroes.

Richard Caborn

"If we smarten up as a nation, we can use it to inspire the nation and make sure on one day - we can call it Olympic celebration day - we get everyone active and we thank all those who helped the Olympians to do what they've done."

He added: "I think Theresa May and the Government ought to declare an Olympic legacy day."

Concerns were raised by former rowing champion Sir Matthew Pinsent about the parade not going ahead.

He tweeted on Wednesday he had "heard from 2 different sources today that there won't be a @TeamGB parade this year".

It is understood that Team GB have yet to be approached about plans for a homecoming event, but the Mayor of London's office said they hoped to organise something.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "Like millions of other people I've been staying up far too late, gripped by our athletes' brilliant performances in Rio.

"I think it would be great to have a big public celebration of our Olympians and Paralympians after the Games and my team is talking to the Government and sports chiefs to see how we can make this happen."

Labour's candidate for mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said he would write to the Government to push for it to consider Manchester as a location for the homecoming celebrations.

He said: "I find rumours that the Government has no plans for an official parade surprising and disappointing. There will be overwhelming public support for a formal event and a strong case for that to be held outside of London, reflecting the fact that our athletes come from all parts of the UK.

"I will be writing to the Government to call for a formal parade and to put the case for it being held in Manchester.

"The cycling team has been the engine behind Team GB's success at the last three Olympics. The success of the National Cycling Centre and Velodrome has provided a template for other sports to follow.

"While other places will no doubt wish to stake a claim to host the parade, Manchester has a powerful one. At this Games, every single member of Team GB's cycling team has won a medal. Given that those medals were made in Manchester, a parade here would be a fitting recognition of that unprecedented achievement."