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'Hackney Heroine' quits national Lib Dem campaign

A woman who was dubbed the Hackney Heroine for standing up to rioters in 2011 has announced she is stepping down from the race to be Liberal Democrat president over the party's "Neanderthal views on diversity".

Pauline Pearce, 48, posted a video statement on her Facebook campaign page accusing the party of "underhand racism" and claiming senior party figures would not support her because of her criminal record.

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She said she would remain in the party but was resigned to remaining "the token person who sits and smiles in the background" rather than being able to take on prominent roles.

The party said it was saddened by the decision and would look into her claims "as a matter of urgency".

London riot victims still awaiting compensation

Police officers block a road near a burning car in Hackney, August 8, 2011 Credit: RT/REUTERS

More than 130 people who claimed compensation following the London riots in 2011 are yet to receive a single penny, according to figures obtained by Labour.

It claims less than 16% of the requested cash has been paid out more than two years after violence and looting broke out across the capital.

The figures were uncovered through freedom of information requests to the Metropolitan Police.

The Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime has said Labour's got the figures wrong.

A spokesman said: " It is simply untrue to say that people are yet to receive a penny following the 2011 riots in London.

"Over 96% of insured claims have been settled. Only the most complex cases remain."


Mayor sorry for 'best thing' riots comment

A mayor has apologised after she said 2011's riots were "the best thing that's happened" in her community for a while.

Sheila Peacock's comments about Tottenham - dubbed the "epicentre" of the riots two years ago - have upset residents who were forced to flee as homes and businesses burnt.

In an interview for a documentary, the mayor of Haringey - which includes Tottenham - said:

"The second riots that we've just had was the best thing that's happened in Tottenham for a while.

"My reason for saying that is all of a sudden the government is now starting to pump money into Tottenham.

"Because Haringey is an out-of-London borough, so we don't get as much money as Islington or Hackney."

Police survey the aftermath of riots in Tottenham in 2011 Credit: Reuters

Author: Charities doing an 'incredible job' but government needs to help

Author Polly Courtney claims that whilst charities have done an incredible job at helping young people, if there is 'no significant shift in Government priorities and spending', more riots can only be a matter of time.

Since August 2011, the situation for many young people has got worse, not better. Unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds is still at close to 1 million. That is 20% of our young people out of work. More than half of councils have been forced to cut their spending on children's services.

I think giving young people opportunities is the key thing that we need to focus on.

– Polly Courtney, Author

Repeat of 2011 riots 'inevitable'

A repeat of the 2011 riots in the capital is inevitable, according to a new book. Author Polly Courtney has spoken to young people across London for a new book and claims that with one in five young people out of work the situation they face is even worse than two years ago.

Polly Courtney said more unrest is "only a matter of time" unless the Government shifts its priorities to improve conditions for young adults.

The riots of 2011 caused an estimated £200m of damage Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

It's two years since the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, north London, that sparked a tidal wave of rioting, arson and looting that spread across parts of the UK.

Courtney interviewed young people in areas hit by the unrest as research for her novel, Feral Youth.


£200m for riot victims 'unclaimed'

Many businesses in London were destroyed or damaged during the riots of 2011 Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Archive

More than £200 million set aside by the Government for victims of the 2011 Riots remains unclaimed, according to a Labour MP.

Croydon North MP, Steve Reed said the Metropolitan Police has revealed that only £35.8 million out of the £250 million fund has been given out.

The figures released following a Freedom of Information request.

Mr Reed said he also believes the Government abandoned victims of the riots once the media spotlight had disappeared from those affected areas.

He told a Commons adjournment debate on the issue tonight: "It's almost two years now since the riots hit Croydon.

Met Police pay damages to 'Good Samaritan' of London riots

The Met Police is to pay substantial undisclosed damages to a 'Good Samaritan' who helped vulnerable people caught up in the London riots in 2011 whose photo was wrongly used in 'wanted' posters.

Riot officers during the riots in Hackney in August 2011 Credit: Reuters, Toby Melville

London's High Court heard Leslie Austin, who works in housing services in the east London borough of Hackney was commended and thanked by individual police officers throughout the night of 8th August 2011.

The help Mr Austin gave to others included rescuing people who appeared to be trapped in a building close to a car which had been set alight, escorted a distressed elderly woman away from the riots home safely and removed debris from around a bus, enabling the driver to continue the journey.

'Good Samaritan' Leslie Austin helped many people on the night of the Hackney riots

So 'Good Samaritan' who has carried out much volunteer work within the community was shocked when he found his photo on a poster with the words 'Operation Withern Identity Sought' given by police to local businesses for display.

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