Oral Answers to Questions

Florence Eshalomi Excerpts
Thursday 9th March 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Julia Lopez Portrait The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Julia Lopez)
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I thank my hon. Friend for championing a fantastic festival in his constituency and congratulate the organisers on their 20th anniversary. VisitBritain has found that 3% of trips in the UK are made to attend a festival, which equates to more than £1.4 billion a year in spend. That is making a tremendous difference to communities such as the one he represents.

Florence Eshalomi Portrait Florence Eshalomi (Vauxhall) (Lab/Co-op)
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T4. I am sure that the Secretary of State will be aware of the tragic crush during the O2 Brixton Academy concert on 15 December. Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson sadly lost their lives, and I am sure that the whole House will join me in passing on our condolences to their families. Three separate investigations have been launched into the criminal, licensing and security aspects, but there is no single authority looking at what happened. I have written to the Secretary of State and her predecessor. Will she meet me to discuss the Government’s role in getting full answers for the victims’ families and ensuring the safety of similar venues nationally?

Julia Lopez Portrait Julia Lopez
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I thank the hon. Lady for her question. What happened in her constituency was an absolute tragedy and I pass my condolences on to the people affected. We have received her letter, and I am terribly sorry that it has not yet received a response. I was made aware of that only last week. I am asking for this to be looked into, because I appreciate that she has highlighted things that she sees as gaps in the system, but, as she knows, the Met is also investigating this. I will look very carefully to see whether they highlight issues that the Government themselves need to consider.