Tackling Extremism (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
June 19, 2013
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Andrew Dismore (AM): On the 5 June, the Somali Bravanese Community Centre in Coppetts Ward in my constituency was burned down by arson in what appears to be a racially-motivated attack, which is clearly a great shock to the area where the community has lived harmoniously for 20 years and for Barnet as a whole where we are proud of our tolerant multi-cultural society. But the criminals responsible have achieved the direct opposite of their wicked objective of dividing our society as everyone has rallied around and in fact the first on the scene were Rabbis from the local Synagogues offering their support. I am pleased to say that the Council has agreed with my suggestion that the centre must be rebuilt on the same site. As Abubakar Ali, the Chair of the centre, said, 'We will rebuild our community centre; it will once again become a beacon for cohesion, social action and friendship.' What will you do as Mayor to support these efforts to rebuild and restore the centre as soon as possible because this is the best and most effective response to such racist attacks to prove they will not succeed in their message of hatred?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Tackling Extremism (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Tackling Extremism (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I thank you, Andrew, and I appreciate very much the work that people are doing in the community to come together, to rebuild that centre, and I want you to know that they have my full support. If your question is really sort of, 'What can we do financially to help?', I am looking interrogatively at you now, if that is really what you are asking, we will certainly look at it, I do not know the circumstances, I do not know what the insurance basis was, we will have to see what we can do there and I really would not want to make any commitments, but I certainly strongly, strongly support what people of all faiths and all communities are doing in that part of town to pull together and to put that centre back on its feet.

Andrew Dismore (AM): Will you join with the Bravanese when they say in their words, 'Thanks to the Metropolitan Police Service for doing such a commendable job and for reassuring our community, and special thanks to the London Fire Brigade whose prompt response', they say, 'averted a potential disaster and prevented the fire spreading to our neighbours'.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I certainly congratulate both the fire brigade and the police and what has to happen now is that the police have to get on with their work and find out who did it and bring them to justice.