We will reject the poison of the EVF

By - Tuesday 23rd July, 2013

Steve Reed, MP for Croydon North, joins his neighbouring MPs in Croydon Central and Croydon South in opposing extremist attempts to divide our borough

Croydon is a fantastic community and our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. We have communities in Croydon who originate from every part of the world, who chose Croydon to be their home, their place of work, where their children would be raised, and where they would grow old. The rich diversity of our community is something that makes us proud.

I could tell you of community meetings with representatives from our mosques, churches, temples, and local groups where people speak with passion about the issues that confront us all here in Croydon: the threat to our local A&E, the closure of every police station in the north of the borough, the dirty state of our streets, the need for more jobs and opportunities for young people. People want to work together to tackle the problems that affect us all.  This is a community of diverse backgrounds but common aims; a peaceful and tolerant place to call home.

They want to stir up hatred for their own warped ends, to bring discord where we have unity. They will not succeed

And so the news that the racist thugs of the EVF intend to come to Croydon to parade their hatred sickens me. They want to hurt and insult our community with their extremist bigotry. Their views have no place here or in any decent place – it’s why I wrote to the Home Secretary to raise my concerns about the EVF’s plans. What we saw in Woolwich, after the horrific death of Drummer Lee Rigby, was good people coming together in the face of an atrocity, not turning on each other as the EVF, EDL, and their extremist fellow-travellers hoped for.

They want to stir up hatred for their own warped ends, to bring discord where we have unity. They will not succeed. I know, from every person I’ve met in Croydon, from every school I visit, every mosque, temple, or church where I’ve attended celebrations, from the simple common decency of ordinary people living amongst each other, that we will reject their poisonous views and get on with our lives together.

Steve Reed

Steve Reed

Steve Reed OBE was elected as a Labour Member of Parliament for Croydon North in a by-election in November 2012. He was a councillor in Lambeth for 14 years and Leader of the Council from 2006 until his election as an MP, and before that worked in education publishing. Steve led the idea of cooperative councils nationally, based on the principle that public services are more effective if they are directly accountable to the people who use them. Steve led pioneering work to tackle violent youth crime, was co-chair of the UK’s biggest regeneration project at Vauxhall-Nine Elms, board member for children’s services and employment at London Councils, a board member of the London Enterprise Partnership, and Deputy Chairman of the Local Government Association of which he is now a Vice President. He is a member of the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee and President of the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network. He lives in Streatham with his partner and two cats.

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  • Anne Giles

    Hear, hear!

  • Terry Coleman

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article.