Search

Coronavirus: Dawn Butler MP and Cllr Muhammed Butt condemn illegal Harlesden block party

PUBLISHED: 14:57 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:57 03 June 2020

Crowds attend 'Block Party' in Harlesden. Picture: David Nathan

Crowds attend 'Block Party' in Harlesden. Picture: David Nathan

Archant

Brent Central’s MP is urging “predominantly young people” to avoid illegal street parties while the pandemic is still live following a block party in Harlesden.

Dawn Butler MP. Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA ArchiveDawn Butler MP. Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Archive

Dawn Butler MP has released a statement saying she was “stunned but not too shocked” to learn about the outdoor music event last night (June 2) in Gifford Road and surrounding streets.

Eleven police officers were assaulted and five people arrested after more than 500 people descended on Church End & Roundwood.

The Labour MP said the recent behaviour of the prime minister’s advisor, Dominic Cummings, breaking the lockdown rules may have “irked a lot of people” as it did her.

But she went on to say that Brent has the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in London and that according to data from the Office of National Statistics Church Road has had more deaths that anywhere else in the borough.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council. Picture: Francis HenryCllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council. Picture: Francis Henry

“I am sure we all know someone who has died or who has suffered from this virus, therefore we must look after our own.

“That means making informed decisions. The virus is still prevalent and there is no vaccination,” she said.

“Hundreds of people are still dying every day in this country, while Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than any other group.”

Saying she hoped she won’t see a second spike in Brent, she added: “I say to the predominantly young people in Brent: I know it is hard. I understand being cooped up isn’t easy, but please make informed decisions and avoid situations like the one yesterday.

“ Act like you have the virus and everyone around you has the virus. Know that Black Asian people are three times more likely to die from the virus.

“I know that personally I don’t want to be responsible for giving the virus to my Mum, so I haven’t seen her in weeks.

“Let us all understand the risks and the law and do what we can to keep safe – ourselves, friends, families and the community.

“Our community is our strength and we must do all we can to protect each other.”

Brent Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt also condemned the gathering.

“I’ve been inundated with messages from residents furious at last night’s illegal street party on Church Road,” he said.

“The people involved in this late night gathering have put themselves – and their friends and families – at enormous risk of serious illness in an area already hard hit by coronavirus.

“Covid 19 has not gone away so it is really important that illegal street parties like this are not repeated.

“My message to anyone thinking of getting involved in similar events is, please do not risk bringing the virus home and infecting your loved ones.

“Put simply: events like this cost lives and should not be repeated.”

You may also want to watch:

Dawn Butler MP’s full statement:

It has come to my attention from several social media clips sent to me that an illegal block party was held in Brent yesterday.

For something that started at around 30 people and ended up with around 500 people, I was stunned but upon reflection, not too shocked. Recent reports in regard to how the Prime Minister’s Chief Adviser Dominic Cummings blatantly broke the rules whilst he was suspected to be infected with the Coronavirus, and has been protected by government, has irked a lot of people – myself included.

A Government that is morally bankrupt when it comes to following their own rules, and when it comes to issues of race, lacks any moral authority to tell people what to do. I understand this more than most.

However, our community in Brent has suffered hugely from COVID-19. We have the highest amount of deaths out of all London Boroughs. And everyone needs to know that, according to ONS data, Church Road has had far more deaths than anywhere else in the surrounding areas.

I am sure we all know someone who has died or who has suffered from this virus, therefore we must look after our own. That means making informed decisions. The virus is still prevalent and there is no vaccination. Hundreds of people are still dying every day in this country, while Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people are 3 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than any other group.

I have been on record as being worried about the second spike in the virus and I really hope that we won’t see a second spike in Brent.

So, I say to the predominantly young people in Brent: I know it is hard. I understand being cooped up isn’t easy, but please make informed decisions and avoid situations like the one yesterday. Act like you have the virus and everyone around you has the virus. Know that Black Asian people are 3 times more likely to die from the virus.

I know that personally I don’t want to be responsible for giving the virus to my Mum, so I haven’t seen her in weeks. Let us all understand the risks and the law and do what we can to keep safe – ourselves, friends, families and the community.

Our community is our strength and we must do all we can to protect each other.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Brent & Kilburn Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Kilburn Times