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Residents vent anger at Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson has faced a barrage of criticism from angry residents as he toured the devastation in riot-hit Clapham with Home Secretary Theresa May.

Mr Johnson, who flew back from his summer holiday on Monday as the violence escalated across the capital, said: "I want to say to everybody who runs a shop or owns a business here how very sorry I am for the loss and the damage you have suffered.

"I also want to say to the people who have been involved in instigating these riots and those who have been robbing and stealing that they will be caught, they will be apprehended and they will face punishments they will bitterly regret. They will.

"I know there are questions about the police response and police numbers. We are certainly going to be dealing with those."

Mrs May was led away by aides as a visibly stunned Mr Johnson faced the television cameras and public wrath. One woman told him: "I was in a salon when a brick came through the window and no one was here to defend me." Another woman shouted at the mayor, urging him to resign.

Mr Johnson struggled to make himself heard as he said: "Tonight we are going to have a huge number of police on the streets. It is time that people who are engaged in looting and violence stopped hearing economic and social justification for what happened." The move came despite Mr Johnson's aides previously insisting he could deal with the burgeoning crisis remotely as if "he was sitting in his office".

In Birmingham, Nick Clegg was given a hostile reception as he was booed by crowds during a walkabout in the city centre. Scores of youths shouted "go home" as the Deputy Prime Minister walked through the city's main shopping area.

He was quickly ushered into a waiting car by police and security staff. As the car left the scene on New Street, some of the crowd heckled "go on, run, run run".

Speaking afterwards, Mr Clegg described those booing as "troublemakers". He said: "I spent 15 minutes walking around, I spoke to lots of shoppers, lots of local residents.

"I'm never going to apologise for getting out there and speaking to people and talking to the victims of this needless violence, destruction and thieving, the shopkeepers, the people who actually just want to go about their everyday business. And I spoke to many of them before some troublemakers turned up and then, of course, I followed the advice of the police."

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