Labour MP Neil Coyle has criticised the government over its response to the insurance loophole that stopped Borough Market traders from receiving insurance payouts for over a month after the terror attack.
As the News reported last year, market traders and business owners affected by last year’s attacks were left in limbo after it was revealed that a legal loophole meant they might not be able to claim insurance to cover trading losses sustained during eleven days of closure, until the Treasury officially declared the attack as a terrorist incident – which took until June 28.
Although a Treasury spokesperson told the News last August that it was looking at all options to ‘close the insurance gap’, as the one year anniversary of the attacks approaches, Neil Coyle says nothing has been done so far to change the 21-day process.
The Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP told the News today: “It’s a year since our community came under such a vicious, cowardly attack.
“The community response was tremendous and showed how united we are. The support for the area worst affected from local people, businesses and the council has been amazing with over £200,000 raised.
“The Mayor of London has provided more than that to help employers affected too.
“It is deeply saddening that the Government had done nothing to support the area and has, to date, failed yet to even close the terror insurance loophole that almost closed some local firms.
“I will be pushing for swifter Government action now after a year of campaigning for help.”
A spokesman for HM Treasury told the News: “We understand the concerns that businesses have about the terrorism insurance gap, that’s why in March we committed to amend the law and close the gap as soon as parliamentary time allows.”
According to the Treasury, it is legal process to certify an act of terrorism for insurance purposes within a 21-day period following formal notification by Pool Re, the government-backed terrorism reinsurer.
The Manchester Arena attack was certified within five working days, but after the London Bridge attack the process took longer.
The Treasury says it is working with the Home Office to speed this process up, whilst ensuring the police have enough time to continue their investigations.
Last July, a crowdfunding campaign raised more than £100,000 to help support affected traders. On the eve of the first anniversary of the attack, the market will hold a minute’s silence at the end of its Saturday trading day.