Brighton Pride 2015 delayed by 'suspicious package' blown up by army bomb disposal unit

The package was blown up as a precaution by army bomb disposal experts

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The Independent Online

The Brighton Pride parade has been rerouted by police after the discovery of a “suspect package” on the city’s seafront.

Bomb disposal experts were sent to the scene and the area has been cordoned off, although police said there was no risk to the public.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said the unidentified package was blown up by army bomb disposal experts in a controlled explosion after the start of the parade.

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Bomb disposal robot investigates the scene in Brighton, Sussex, after a suspect package was found before the annual Brighton Pride parade (PA)

The alarm delayed the beginning of the annual event, which will see thousands of people gather to enjoy the parade and celebrations through Brighton and Hove.

Festivities were diverted down Lansdowne Place and Western Road as a precaution, before joining the original route at the clock tower.

Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp said: “We are working with Pride organisers to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and ensure the safety of those attending Pride celebration as well as those going about their daily business in the city.”

The disruption came after organisers of the parade, which attracts around 160,000 performers and spectators every year, planned a new “high-profile” route for this year to begin near the city’s peace statue.

"The Pride Community Parade is going back to its Pride roots in an exciting new high profile parade route for 2015,” the official website said, while announcing the change.

"Starting at Hove Lawns the Pride Community Parade will make its way along King's Road, passing the peace statue where so many past Pride marches began and taking in the best of the city's seafront, ensuring an amazing view for both participants and spectators."

The two-day festival is widely acknowledged as the country's most popular LGBT event.

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Police officer cordon off the scene in Brighton, Sussex, after a suspect package was found before the annual Brighton Pride parade (PA)

Acts including Fatboy Slim, Ella Henderson and The Human League will be performing and a candlelit sunset event is being held as a "unique celebration of love and life" and to remember friends and loved ones from the LGBT community.

Additional reporting by PA

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