MP would not 'share platform with anarchist groups'
- 12 January 2014
- From the section London
Tottenham MP David Lammy has said he refused to attend a vigil for Mark Duggan because he did not want to share a platform with "anarchist groups".
He told The Andrew Marr Show he did not want to appear with "people that don't accept that a jury laboured and reached a decision".
Up to 500 people gathered at Tottenham Police Station on Saturday.
On Wednesday, an inquest jury concluded Mark Duggan was lawfully killed when he was shot dead by police in August 2011.
'Extreme protest groups'
Mr Lammy said: "I've done a lot to support this family and I will continue to do that but I will not share a platform with anarchist groups and people that don't accept that a jury laboured and reached a decision."
Jurors concluded that Mark Duggan was in possession of a gun before he was shot, although not holding one when he was killed.
They had to consider whether he posed an imminent threat to police when he was killed.
The Duggan family reacted angrily to the conclusion, saying Mark Duggan had been "executed" and shouting "No justice, no peace".
The gathering on Saturday was used to protest against deaths in police custody, though the Duggan family had called for a peaceful vigil.
It included representatives from unions including the National Union of Teachers and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.
Stafford Scott who works for rights and race advocacy in Tottenham questioned why Mr Lammy had not attended the vigil in a speech he made on the steps of the police station.
Labour MP Mr Lammy said: "There's a legal process that continues. There's an IPCC [Independent Police Complaints Commission] investigation and it's my job to continue to put pressure on that organisation, but anarchy and extreme protest groups I'm not prepared to share a platform with and I've always been consistent on that."
Addressing the reaction to the jury's conclusion, he said: "The central issue it seems to me is that you have to have a Met that looks like London and we are a long way off that.
"You go to New York and you see a police force that looks like the city and I don't think you can have a global city where less than 10% of the Met come from minority ethnic backgrounds.
"In fact we are in a situation where many of the Met aren't even Londoners, black or white. They are from other parts of the country."
Asked if he supports the idea of police wearing cameras, he said: "Definitely. I think if we had police cameras in this case we would know exactly where the gun was and how it left the car."