It is one month since the horrific terrorist attack on London Bridge and Borough Market. On the night, in the immediate aftermath and ever since the response from local people has been incredible. Our community has pulled together magnificently and shown why terrorists will fail to beat how we live and who we are.
We witnessed an inconceivable degree of bravery and commitment from our emergency services and NHS as well as huge amounts of generosity from local people, businesses, Southwark Cathedral (also directly affected and forced to close briefly as a result of the attack) and the wider public. I thank everyone for making me even prouder to be the local MP!
8 people were murdered, 48 injured and about 160 have sought counselling or other support since the attack. British Transport Police offered their counselling support to people directly affected and traumatised by what they’d seen and, four weeks on, some people are unable to return to work yet.
The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced £300,000 towards all three London major incidents, the Borough Market Traders Support Fund has raised over £100,000 in donations, and News UK have provided help worth about £25,000 through all staff being given market vouchers. Many of their staff were directly affected by the attack as their office is at London Bridge station.
Despite the amazing response to the attack from so many, some of the independent local traders and businesses have been in touch to outline the impact. The attack was over in under ten minutes, but the site was locked down for ten days due to the investigation. This has caused some small traders to lose out, including fruit and veg sellers at the Market who’ve lost £17,000 and Applebees restaurant who have lost closer to £40,000. It is estimated that the attack cost about £1.4 million in total to local businesses putting at least two in touch with me at risk of closure.
Ministers – and Theresa May – have stated that the ‘terrorists cannot win’. I agree, but extend ensuring they lose to protecting jobs and businesses if/when attacks occur. I wrote to the Prime Minister urging her to visit the area and speak with those directly affected. This has not yet happened. I also asked the Business Secretary to meet with local people affected and one of that Ministerial team is coming. I hope the Government responds with the same generosity and spirit others have shown and acts now to protect everyone affected by the attack. To date, their response has been slow and limited.
This article highlights concerns of some traders towards the lack of support they are receiving from the Government and insurance companies. Insurers need to pay out asap to prevent any firms and jobs being lost. I have called on the Government to pull its finger out and for insurance companies to properly cover all those affected by the ten-day closure which followed the attack.