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Boris Johnson's tribute to Essex lorry death victims as he signs book of condolence

A message left by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in book of condolence
A message left by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in book of condolence
Mr Johnson, Chief Constable of Essex Police Ben-Julian Harrington and Home Secretary Priti Patel after laying flowers for the victims

By Ellis Whitehouse

Boris Johnson pledged to do everything in his power to bring those responsible for the deaths of the 39 migrants to justice.

The Prime Minister and Home Secretary Priti Patel attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Thurrock Council's offices in Grays yesterday.

Also present were Essex Police, Fire and Crime commissioner Roger Hirst, the force's Chief Constable BJ Harrington, Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price and head of NCA serious and organised crime unit Robert James.

Those gathered held a two-minute silence and signed a book of condolence before laying wreaths in the Mulberry garden.

In his message, the Prime Minister wrote: "The whole nation and indeed the world has been shocked by this tragedy and the cruelty of the fate that has been suffered by innocent people who were hoping for a better life in this country.

"We mourn those who lost their lives. Our thoughts are with their families far away. In condemning the callousness of those responsible for this crime, we in the government of the United Kingdom resolve to do everything in our power to bring the perpetrators to justice."

BJ Harrington said: "It is my commitment, it is the law enforcement community's commitment to bring to justice the people who started and were responsible for this tragic journey, wherever they might be in the world. We are working together with other countries and other governments to bring them to justice. It is only that way that we will prevent any further loss of life."

Ms Doyle-Price said tackling the problem required a global solution.

She added: "This is an international problem, it materialises here in Thurrock because we are the port capital of the UK and there has been ongoing discussions with government ministers and all crime agencies about tackling this problem.

"But we are very clear this is an international chain of criminal activity. We can do our bit here at our ports but actually the work needs to be tackled upstream before they get here, far more importantly."

Mr Hirst said: "It is really important to express the condolences and sympathies of the people of Essex whom I represent for the victims of this awful crime."

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