He was one of the British soldiers who liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and saw first-hand the enormity of the horror the Nazis imposed. His whole generation gave everything they had to defeat fascism – including those back home like my Nan working in a munitions factory and everyone in Southwark who withstood the ferocious Luftwaffe bombings.
So to see Americans flying the Nazi flag in Charlottesville recently is sickening and an insult to the American forces who joined Commonwealth fighters across the globe to defeat fascist regimes. Trump should have condemned it wholeheartedly. That he didn’t is beyond reasoning. Any strong UK leader would also be able to demand greater action from their US counterpart.
Theresa May cannot ask Trump to condemn neo-Nazis because of her own extraordinarily weak position. She is hamstrung on the international stage by Brexit. She knows leaving the EU, our biggest trading partner and the wealthiest economic bloc on the planet, means she will need a new agreement with the US. If the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, even WTO rules will not help some sectors. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is based near London Bridge and is extremely worried about flights not even being able to operate. Thousands of Brits head to the States every year but in under two years no flights could be taking off: that is the sad reality of Brexit.
Last week we witnessed another murderous atrocity in Barcelona. This attack left at least 13 innocent civilians dead, including seven year old British citizen Julian Cadman. Europe has faced increasingly cowardly terrorists deliberately targeting children, like in Manchester. In June our community was targeted when depraved murderers killed civilians near London Bridge. Despite pressure, the Government is yet to offer financial support and some insurance providers still have not paid out. I am seeing the Economic Secretary to the Treasury soon to discuss this disgraceful situation.
The rise in attacks comes after seven years of police cuts and reductions in their powers, as London Mayor Sadiq Khan demonstrated last week. Since 2010 our community has lost over 200 PCSOs and police officers and the Met is short of 700 detectives across London. I am very worried that our Government is failing to ensure the police have the resources to tackle knife and moped crime, as well as deal with the growing international terror threat.