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Statement on the major incident in Essex

28 October 2019

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Priti Patel, Home Secretary, made a follow-up statement to the House on the recent major incident which occurred in Essex in which 39 people were found dead in a lorry container.

Following the news that police had found 39 bodies in a lorry container in an industrial estate in Essex, the Home Secretary updated MPs about the investigation.

The Home Secretary commended the work of law enforcement and offered condolences to the victims and their families:

"This morning the Prime Minister and I visited Thurrock in Essex, to sign the book of condolence and pay our respects to the 39 individuals who died in the most appalling circumstances in trying to reach the United Kingdom."

"We have been confronted with the stark reminder of the evils of people smuggling and human trafficking. This trade is a blight on the modern world, and for the sake of these victims and for the millions like them, we must do all we can to stamp this out. And I would like to pay tribute once again to the outstanding professionalism shown by all our emergency services, and in particular to the swift and professional response from the East of England ambulance service, Essex Country fire and rescue service who have been leading the ongoing criminal investigation, and our operational partners who are working round the clock to assist the investigation, including the National Crime Agency." 

Responding on behalf of the Opposition, Shadow Minister Diane Abbott said:

"This is a very, very tragic event, and in some ways it has humanised the issue of people trafficking for people in this country. Of course, we have to bear down on the people traffickers – they are ruthless and have no concern for human life – but we ought to have to look at issues like how we make those eastern ports more secure and how we can guarantee people the same level of cooperation with EU agencies [after Brexit] that we currently have."


Image: aitoff via Pixabay

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