Parliament was recalled last Thursday for the Prime Minister to make a statement about the violence in London and other cities across the country. I cancelled my holiday in Turkey and flew home to the UK, determined to stand together with other MPs in condemnation of these crimes.
The scenes that we all saw on our television screens last week were sickening. I am utterly disgusted by the thoughtless violence that has destroyed so many homes and businesses and has left people across the country in fear. This is criminality pure and simple, and it has to be confronted and defeated.
I put my thanks on record for the police, not only from London, but from our own Lancashire Constabulary, who travelled down to support their colleagues in troubled cities and have put themselves at great risk to take back our streets. It is vital that no false arguments about Human Rights get in the way of the police’s efforts to enforce the law. And as I made clear to the Prime Minister, the public fully support our police having the freedom to act as they deem necessary in these situations.
There will be a lot of reflection in the coming days and weeks about what has happened, but one thing is clear, this is about deep rooted problems in sections of our society. This isn’t about cuts, or young people not having enough to do, this is about a society where too often individuals are more aware of their rights than their responsibilities and have somehow lost any sense of what is right and what is wrong.
This is the broken society that we have been warning about but people should be in no doubt that the Government will, in the short term, do everything necessary to restore order to Britain’s streets and to make them safe for law abiding citizens. In the longer term, changing the culture that has led to this will need the support of all of us as individuals and also the various groups we belong to if we are to begin to mend things.”