Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Riots may hit UK again: MP

The MP for Tottenham, where rioting triggered this summer's looting in English cities, has warned that conditions are ripe for trouble to break out next year.

David Lammy said poverty and poor housing allied to a lack of male role models, crumbling community links and simple greed had combined with "toxic" results in his constituency four months ago. He said that the social and economic problems facing inner-city areas could get worse and called for a fresh effort to reach out to disaffected young people.

"We need politicians of all parties to attend to these issues or it could happen again," he said.

He added that this year's mayhem differed from the violence that hit Tottenham in 1985 in that it was not a race riot: "What we saw in 2011 was not just a battle against the police, it was a battle within and across community."

But Mr Lammy, who grew up in Tottenham, added there were also chilling parallels between the disturbances. "For any area to have two riots in a generation is a catastrophe," he said. "It's tremendously sad that 25 years later you see some of those individuals' children caught up in this."

Mr Lammy also disclosed that he considered challenging Ken Livingstone to become Labour's candidate in next year's elections for the London mayoralty. "I did think about it, but in the end my community needs me," he said.

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