December 10 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Monday, March 26, 2012
London Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone has insisted that as Mayor of London he would have met with Mark Duggan’s family after his shooting last August - in a bid to avoid the riots that followed.
Mr Livingstone made the comments whilst visiting Crouch End on Friday afternoon, during a whistle-stop tour of several London boroughs, as part of his election campaign to oust incumbent Boris Johnson.
He told the Journal: “Regeneration is the easy part; there shouldn’t have been a riot in the first place.
“If I’d been the Mayor of London when Mark Duggan’s parents arrived at the Tottenham police station to make their case, I would have been there to meet them.”
The 66-year-old was referring to the vigil that marched to Tottenham police station shortly after Mr Duggan was shot dead by armed police, to get answers from the police about the father-of-four’s death.
The subsequent riots that swept across London were sparked by thugs who hijacked the peaceful demonstration outside the police station.
Mr Livingstone said: “When things are going wrong the Mayor needs to be there. During the riots, Boris said he wouldn’t come back from holiday.
“That’s what the Mayor’s job is, to represent the city, to be there and to share the pain as much as the joy.
“I can absolutely guarantee if I get four more years as Mayor, every decision I take will be about what’s right for London.”
Mr Livingstone also threw his support behind the Wards Corner Community Coalition, who have been campaigning against plans from developers to turn the site, currently the home of Seven Sisters Indoor Market, into almost 200 new homes, a new public square, and shops.
Grainger, the developer which also owns the site, was refused planning permission by Haringey Council for the proposals last July and has now lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate over the decision.
The coalition group, comprised of local residents, want to see the site regenerated to promote the unique South American marketplace currently on offer.
Mr Livingstone said: “What’s amazing about that place is someone who has never been to South America can go there for a morning or afternoon and get a real flavour for another world.
“So get local traders to invest in that - they’ve got to have a 20 or 30-year guarantee that they’re going to be able to stay there.
“So I’ll negotiate with them, give them a long-term lease, and see what we can do to get investment there - so that it becomes the high point of Seven Sisters.”
This year’s Mayoral elections take place on May 3.