Emily Thornberry Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury
Islington has, so far, been spared the scale of rioting and destruction seen in Tottenham, Hackney, Croydon and other parts of London and the UK. The police and the community must continue to work together, to ensure this does not change.
Nevertheless, scores of Islington’s people and businesses have been attacked in the last week, and we are all enduring collective anxiety at what has happened or may happen next.
The first priority for London is to keep the city safe by preventing further rioting, violence and damage.
We then need to get back on our feet -; we have already seen Londoners joining council workers in clearing up the damage. We must make sure support is there for people made homeless and small businesses who may struggle to recover. I am particularly concerned about small Islington businesses who work on tiny margins and who may not be insured against what has happened to them.
In the immediate future, preventing more riots means improving the government’s response and halting cuts to London’s police. And in the longer term, we need an honest and tough look at the causes, both the immediate trigger of Mark Duggan’s death and beyond -; which are complex but must not be ignored.