Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Clegg tours riot-hit community

Nick Clegg and David Lammy meet pizza shop owner Mohammed Nabi Ayubi in the aftermath of rioting in Tottenham, north London

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the riots in Tottenham will leave "big scars" on the community as he surveyed the wreckage caused by two nights of rioting in the capital.

More than 100 people were arrested overnight and early on Monday morning after a series of "copycat" disturbances broke out across several boroughs in north, south and east London following trouble in Tottenham on Saturday.

Mr Clegg, who returned from holiday on Monday morning, condemned the violence earlier as "completely unacceptable".

Home Secretary Theresa May is also due back in London after ending her summer break early.

After walking down part of Tottenham High Road and speaking with business owners, Mr Clegg met local police chiefs, councillors and religious leaders.

He said: "We need to start talking together to identify everything that happened so we can rebuild, not just physically but socially.

"I should stress I don't regard this as a fleeting visit. I think the Government has to engage actively at all levels and on an ongoing basis because clearly this is something that leaves big scars and we need to work together to start to heal those scars.

"I'm very much here to hear from you and your early reactions. Families have lost their homes. This is a very difficult time for the community but it's also a time for the community to draw together."

Mrs May later condemned the riots that have blighted the capital for three days as "sheer criminality".

At least 215 people have been arrested and 25 charged following the riots across London, she said.