Newman disagrees with his own candidate
17/06/2014 11:12:00......Posted by Mario Creatura
In a statement released just now, Councillor Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council said:
"The message to the organisers of this rave is very clear; you are not welcome in this borough and you will not be allowed to get away with organising illegal activities that put young people at such terrible risk.
"We are assisting the police, who are using the council’s CCTV footage to track perpetrators, and we expect the strongest possible action will be taken against all those who were involved.
"Owners of empty buildings have a responsibility to ensure they are safe and secure, and we will be making sure that they take these responsibilities seriously. We must do everything in our power to make sure that this does not happen here ever again."
Sounds very much to me like he's taking the same pragmatic line as former Coulsdon West Councillor and now Croydon Central MP, Gavin Barwell: that those guilty should feel the 'full force of the law'.
Cllr Newman is right, and in the process appears to be distancing himself from his own Labour candidate who accused Barwell of being "too macho" and said that "youth is about exploration, pushing boundaries, seeking out fun and moulding your personality". As Gavin has commented on his blog: "We are talking about an event that has caused significant criminal damage, left a number of people in hospital, caused huge disruption and damaged the town's reputation. How can someone who aspires to represent this town in Parliament think it is wrong to throw the book at those responsible? And it could have been so much worse. There was only one entrance to/exit from the venue - if there had been a fire or other emergency, we could have seen a number of fatalities. When people break into private property, damage it, disrupt the lives of those living nearby and endanger the lives of our young people, they should pay a price for doing so. That’s not a macho approach, it’s common sense."