Mayor's Oral Update (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Question By: 
Joanne McCartney
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Joanne McCartney AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor.  I was not linking the two incidents.  I was referring to the incident in Wood Green High Street where we had the Kurdish parade for Newroz, which has taken place for the last few years on an annual basis and has actually taken place extremely peacefully without any issue.  However, it appears that a stall promoting extreme Islamic ideas popped up in the High Street at the same time.  Whether that was premeditated or not, there was certainly, I believe, a brick thrown at the parade and some abuse called, which I understand the police are investigating.

However, at the meeting last month, you were asked about police withdrawing resources from private events and public protests.  It just struck me that with events like these where there may be some community tensions that the police and perhaps your officers could just take extra care that extra checks are done so that we can protect the peace.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Mayor's Oral Update (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Mayor's Oral Update (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I see what you are driving at, yes.  Absolutely.  I thought you might be going in that direction, Joanne.  There was a sergeant and there were six police constables allocated to the march.  You are absolutely accurate in what you say. It seems that the disturbance was provoked by Anjem Choudary [British Muslim social and political activist] and his lot, who were there with their roadshow advocating Sharia law and handing out leaflets urging people not to vote.  That is deeply antisocial and counterproductive.  Of course, we run a great free city and the police are there to allow people to make protests of whatever kind and this was properly policed, but clearly there was a large element of provocation.

Joanne McCartney AM:  It just strikes me that if this is continued, the police will just have to have extra regard to putting resources into community events such as this, whether they are private or not.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes.  The disturbance, such as it was, was dispersed extremely fast and, as I say, there was a sergeant and six police constables there.

On the synagogue in Craven Park, which was the object of drunken attacks, six arrests have already been made and they have been bailed pending further inquiries.