Health Care

Sadiq Khan rejects call to move Notting Hill carnival after Grenfell fire

Sadiq Khan rejects call to move Notting Hill carnival after Grenfell fire”

In a move that has sparked anger, Minister of State for International Trade Greg Hands told the London Mayor the carnival should be moved due to its proximity to a "major disaster site".

Mr Hands also stressed the Greater London Authority (GLA) should take a greater role in running the event. The early days of Notting Hill Carnival were marked too by community activists who saw the importance of uniting the area's diverse groups of residents in celebration on the streets they all shared as their neighbourhood. Though he accepted the August carnival "must go ahead", he suggested that it be moved and raised the prospect of the local council stepping in to help organise it.

Mr Khan hit back that the event was "a firm London tradition" and any attempt to move it would be "a mistake" given the public mood after the fire.

Conservative London Assembly Member for Kensington, Tony Devenish, also echoed Hands" sentiments, calling for Khan to "take control" of the Carnival and "ensure sensitivity and crowd safety' over the festivities.

London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, rejected the call, saying the carnival belonged on the streets of its Notting Hill birthplace.

More than one million people attend Notting Hill Carnival every year, making it the biggest street festival in Europe.

The call to move the event prompted an angry response from some quarters, including from London rapper Stormzy, who called Mr Hands a "scumbag" for making the suggestion.

'It was born out of the African-Caribbean immigrant community in North Kensington and Notting Hill in the 1950s, and it's only right that this remains its home.

The Tory MP for Chelsea and Fulham questioned whether it was "appropriate" for the celebration to be held "in the near proximity of a major national disaster".

Four people were stabbed and 45 police officers injured during last year's carnival, where more than 450 were arrested.

"People are distressed to talk about it in full, and our thoughts are not there yet".



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