The riots in quotes

Written by Monday: on 8 August 2011 in Diary
Comment from politicians on the riots had initially been scarce - here's what's been said so far

David Lammy MP:  For every person on camera throwing stones there will be 1,000 others off camera rebuilding what has been destroyed. This is the Tottenham I was born in, the Tottenham I grew up in and that I live in”. (Mirror)

Nick de Bois MP:  Those involved in the riots “moved into residential streets once the police got near and got into Golf GTIs to speed to their next act of riot”. (Conservative Home)

Downing Street Cat on Twitter:  “Oh, sweet Garfield, Dave is going to kill me.  He’s never going to leave me in charge again. #Tottenham”.

Diane Abbott MP:  “Just as with the original riots, parts of the community seem to have been a tinder box waiting to explode. Haringey Council has lost £41m from its budget and has cut youth services by 75%. The abolition of the education maintenance allowance hit Haringey hard, and thousands of young people at college depended on it. Again none of these things are reasons for rioting and looting. But with these and other cuts in jobs and services, it is difficult to see how areas like Tottenham can become less flammable soon”. (The Independent)

Nick Clegg MP:  Rejected "completely this notion that somehow this government hasn't been functioning very effectively". (Sky News)

Boris Johnson:  “I am not going to come back at the moment because I have complete confidence in the police and I think that they are doing a very, very good job ... the people who did this were criminals and their behaviour was criminal behaviour and it was in no way justified by the questions that people are asking about Michael Duggan”. (Metro)

NB: He got Mark Duggan’s name wrong.

Ken Livingstone:  "I am concerned that there is growing social dislocation in London and a threat that the police will be forced into escalating conflict with some London communities. We do not want to go back to the 1980s".  (Labour List)

Damian Thompson (writer for Daily Telegraph):  I suppose I’ll be accused of exploiting the Tottenham riots and London-wide looting for political ends, but what a disaster they were for UK Uncut and other “peaceful” street protests against the ‘cuts’”. (Telegraph)


Steven Kavanagh:  It was a “shocking and appalling morning for London to wake up to” (BBC News)

John Prescott on Twitter:  “Would be really great to see the England football tram heading to a #riotcleanup What do you think @rioferdy5 @waynerooney?”

Lynne Featherstone MP:  “The bloody scenes of violence, peppered with raging fires, indicate that we have people in our communities who care nothing for the rule of law and order, nothing for human life and nothing for peoples’ livelihoods. And there can be no justifications and nowhere to hide from such behaviour. We all need to stand together on this and condemn all those who perpetrated these acts. No ifs – no buts”. (Lynne Featherstone)

Ed Miliband MP on Twitter:  “Spoke to the PM this morning, said we need practical steps to restore order. Awful scenes of damage. Will be meeting people affected today”.

Chuka Umunna MP:  “It is ordinary people’s lives who have been harmed by these events; the independent shopkeepers who have had their premises looted whom I have spoken to today, the people who struggled to get to work this morning due to the disruption caused and the people who were afraid to leave their homes last night. We stand beside them with a clear message that our community will not stand for this”. (This is Local London)

Shabana Mahmood MP:  "Obviously we have to have a debate and consider whether there are underlying reasons and learn some of the lessons potentially from some of these incidents as well". (BBC News)

John McDonnell MP on Twitter:  “Reaping what has been sown over 3 decades of creating grotesquely unequal society,with alienated young copying ethos of looting bankers”.

Theresa May MP:  "The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon ... the way we police in Britain is through consent of communities". (The Telegraph)

David Cameron MP:  Told rioters: "You will feel the full force of the law. And if you are old enough to commit these crimes, you are old enough to face the punishment."  (BBC News)


Graham Stringer MP: Manchester police had "a lot to answer for".  (BBC News)

Michael Gove MP: “...if there is anyone responsible for how these children were brought up, it is the Labour party”.  (Guido Fawkes)

Simon Pegg :  "I've lived in London for 18 years and never seen anything like it. Truly disturbing. Nice of Cameron to come back to the Con/Dem Nation."  (Gulf News)

Pat Karney (Manchester City Council):   “We are talking about nine-year-olds with balaclavas walking up the main shopping street in Manchester as if it was a great night out.”  (The Mirror)

Tony Lloyd MP:  “As we did before, after the IRA bomb, we will get on with life because Mancunians are very pragmatic people.”  (The Mirror)

Steve McCabe MP:   “Of course it raises questions about the cuts we have seen in police numbers.”  (Birmingham Mail)

John Hemming MP:   “The looting and vandalism is done by ill-disciplined youths.”  (Birmingham Mail)

Tom Watson MP:  “This is the time when party leaders should show a united front to a divided nation ... when our democracy is under attack it is an important symbolic act for MPs to meet.”  (Birmingham Mail)

Les Lawrence (Birmingham City Council):   “Sending youngsters to prison, in an environment that will embed and enhance their bad behaviour, and to an extent give them status, is not the way to deal with this ... of course they should be made to see the extent of the damage they have caused, but this should be done through strong restorative justice community penalties, not being sent to jail.”  (Birmingham Mail)

Hazel Blears MP:  “This is copycat behaviour. There’s a sense that some people don’t have the kind of barriers and discipline that people in the past have been brought up with”.  (Metro)

Mark Reckless MP on his blog:  “The police must now be as tough as they need to be to re-establish order and politicians should give them every support required. This disorder is not caused by social deprivation, as Ken Livingstone disgracefully sought to suggest onNewsnight’ last night. Rather, as Shaun Bailey so rightly riposted, it follows too long a period in which we have taught youth everything about their rights, but next to nothing about their responsibilities”. 



Tags: Birmingham, Boris Johnson, David Cameron, David Lammy, Ed Miliband, John Prescott, Ken Livingstone, London riots, Manchester, Nick Clegg, Nick de Bois, Theresa May MP, Tottenham Hotspur

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