Wales

Welsh MPs to attend UK riots debate in Parliament

  • 10 August 2011
  • From the section Wales
Riot police outside Miss Selfridge in Manchester
The worst of the rioting on Tuesday was in Manchester and Birmingham

Nearly three quarters of Wales' 40 MPs will be at Westminster on Thursday for the recall of Parliament to discuss the riots across England.

One of them, Monmouth MP David Davies, will be on the front line in London on Wednesday in his role as a special constable.

Mr Davies arrived back from holiday earlier in the afternoon before joining the patrols.

He called for the police to be encouraged to take tougher action.

"We should give people a few minutes to clear the area and then go in with batons and dogs," he said.

"There's no point if you're policing a riot in a nicely, nicely fashion.

"Nobody has complained about police brutality and that's because the police are letting the rioters carry on."

Prime Minister David Cameron said every action would be taken to restore order, with contingency plans for water cannon to be available at 24 hours' notice.

David Davies is a special constable with the British Transport Police
David Davies is a special constable with the British Transport Police

After a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee, Mr Cameron said that police had the legal backing to use any tactics necessary to bring the situation under control, including using baton rounds.

Travel arrangements

MPs will discuss the riots in Parliament on Thursday, which Mr Davies and so far, 26 other Welsh MPs will be in attendance for.

That figure includes all eight Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru's three.

Some MPs have either delayed holiday plans or are returning to the UK early from abroad to take part in the debate.

Some others are still assessing whether they can make travel arrangements to return from holidays overseas.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said the Welsh Government would monitor the situation in England, but said he hoped "people have more respect for each other" in Wales.

On Wednesday, police said there were no outbreaks of serious disorder in Wales as violence and looting returned to some of England's cities for a fourth night.

London stayed largely quiet overnight but there was unrest in cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham with shops being looted and set alight.

Three men died when they were hit by a car in Birmingham - locals claimed they were protecting their neighbourhood.

As MPs prepared to travel to Westminster, Alun Michael, former Home Office minister and a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said the government should "go back to the drawing board and rethink their policies generally".

Asked about the recent riots and the proposed cuts to police services, the Cardiff South and Penarth MP said: "We've always said on the Labour side that these cuts were coming too fast, they were deeper than were necessary".

He added: "They're front-loaded, which gives enormous problems to the police in having to maintain the services and the response that the public expect, they aren't really helping to restore and redevelop the economy and I think the government should think again, not just because of the events of the last few days but because they're getting it wrong from the beginning."

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