London riots: Redbridge MPs grill prime minister David Cameron

The borough’s MPs took the opportunity of Parliament being recalled to give the prime minister a grilling over widespread civil unrest.

Members attended the lengthy Westminster debate on Thursday.

Mike Gapes, Labour MP for Ilford South, carried out regular patrols during the violence and was in close contact with borough commander Det Ch Supt Sue Williams.

He urged prime minister David Cameron to acknowledge the “vast majority” of the one million 11 to 19-year-olds living in London who were peaceful.

Mr Gapes asked: “Will he take this opportunity to make it clear that the vast majority of young people are decent, law-abiding, good people and they are appalled by the stigmatisation that they are getting from the media?

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“They are appalled, they are afraid. They are not criminals. They are just in fear at this time.”

The prime minister told Mr Gapes: “What had happened was in no way representative of the brilliant young people we have in our country.

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“I applaud that and all the other initiatives by people who have stood up and said, ‘this was not done for me or has anything to do with me.’”

Conservative MP Lee Scott, Ilford North, praised Redbridge police for their efforts in controlling the disorder.

He asked the House: “Will the prime minister join me in congratulating Sue Williams and the team in Redbridge on everything they did during the recent troubles?”

But John Cryer, Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead, said residents there were put at risk by the time it took police to effectively respond to violence.

He said: “It actually took four nights, not two nights, to put 16,000 police officers on the streets of London.

“That put businesses and people in danger, including my constituents. So far I have not heard a convincing explanation as to why that took so long.”

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