London’s gay community will march despite the bomb

Tony Grew June 29, 2007
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Organisers of the biggest gay parade in the UK have confirmed that it will go ahead tomorrow.

The discovery of a car bomb on the route had cast doubt on whether the London Pride parade would go ahead.

However, Metropolitan police sources have confirmed that Haymarket, a key part of the parade route, will be open tomorrow.

The car, a silver Mercedes, crashed into a bin on Haymarket at around 2am this morning.

The driver fled and police found gas cannisters in the vehicle.

A major anti-terrorism operation was launched and the government’s emergency COBRA committee met discuss the incident.

The car is now being removed.

A Metropolitan police source said:

“Police were called to reports of a suspicious vehicle parked in Haymarket, shortly before 2am this morning.

“As a precautionary measure the immediate area was cordoned off while the vehicle was examined by explosives officers.

“They discovered what appeared to be a potentially viable explosive device. This was made safe.”

Pride organisers are expecting hundreds of thousands of LGBT people to take to the streets tomorrow.

Members of the Armed Services and the police and fire service will march.

The parade is due to begin at 1pm and will take in Baker St, Oxford St, Regent St, Haymarket, ending at Whitehall.

The discovery of the car bomb came on new Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s third day in office.

“The first duty of the government is the security of the people and as the police and security services have said on so many occasions we face serious and continuous threat to our country,” he said in a statement.

“We should allow the police to investigate this incident and then report to us but this incident does recall the need for us to be vigilant at all times and the public to be alert for any potential incidents.

“I will stress to the Cabinet that the vigilance must be maintained over the next few days.”

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