All posts by Kensington Labour Party

Statement on the MP for Kensington Voting to Kick Implementation of the Grenfell Inquiry Recommendations into the Long Grass

Over three years after 72 people died in the Grenfell Tower Fire atrocity, Kensington’s Conservative MP Felicity Buchan voted last night against an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill that asked for urgent implementation of all the recommendations from the Phase One report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. We have all waited for what feels like an eternity for the Inquiry recommendations to become law and we are shocked and appalled at the behaviour of our Member of Parliament giving her vote in favour of crude delaying tactics.

Last year Felicity Buchan promised North Kensington residents she would ensure that these recommendations would be implemented as quickly as possible. Last night she had the chance to honour her promise but voted for further delay – to an unknown date sometime in the distant future. And if that were not enough, the whole Tory government reneged on the commitment in last year’s Queen’s Speech to ensure that an appalling Grenfell 2 atrocity could never happen again by enacting all the recommendations from the Public Inquiry.

The MP for Kensington voted to kick the recommendations into the long grass saying incredibly that the Labour amendment to the Fire Safety Bill risked delaying work to implement the Phase One recommendations! But it will take the Bill and the enacting regulations a year to become law. The Labour Opposition MPs in Parliament have urged the government to act urgently for three years to prevent a Grenfell 2 which is what they were doing last night, not politicising Grenfell as Felicity Buchan stupidly claimed.

Kensington and Chelsea Labour councillors ask RBKC Conservative councillors to disassociate themselves from the Kensington MPs action last night. Otherwise, the oft repeated Council commitment to prioritise the needs of the Survivors and the Bereaved Families will become a mockery. Telling them three years after their families and friends died in what has been described as an entirely preventable fire that they must wait until the government is ready to act sometime in the future is unacceptable. Felicity Buchan said Grenfell would be a priority when she was elected but she has failed the bereaved families and survivors at the first hurdle.

We look forward to seeing the response of our Conservative colleagues

Pat Mason, Councillor, Leader of the RBKC Labour Opposition Group

Statement on Israel’s Planned Annexation of Significant Parts of the Occupied Palestinian West Bank

RBKC Labour Opposition Group

The RBKC Labour Opposition Group supports the recent Statement from the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres to the Security Council where he called on Israel to scrap plans to annex about 30% of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, a move that could occur as early as 1st July.

Antonio Guterres told the Security Council that he believes “We are at a watershed moment” and that “Israel’s threat to annex parts of the occupied West Bank has alarmed Palestinians, many Israeli’s and the broader international community”. He said that, “If implemented, annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law, grievously harm the prospect of a two-State solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations. I call on the Israeli Government to abandon its annexation plans”.

The Secretary General said that, “The goal is achieving the vision of two states – Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable Palestinian State – living side by side in peace and security within secure and recognised borders, based on the pre-1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states”

The Secretary General’s Statement was affirmed by nearly 50 United Nations Human Rights Experts who said in a joint statement that, “The annexation of occupied territory is a serious violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Convention, and contrary to the fundamental rule affirmed many times by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly that the acquisition of territory by war or force is inadmissible”.

The RBKC Labour Opposition Group joins the United Nations in calling on the Israeli Government to abandon plans to annex land in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Cllr Pat Mason, Leader of the RBKC Labour Opposition Group, 1st July 2020

RBKC Labour Opposition Group Release, 29th June 2020


The ongoing daily illegal street gatherings across London and North Kensington – often accompanied by loud sound systems – has vividly demonstrated the severe damage years of government cuts has done to the Police’s ability to attend and close down all such events often numbering hundreds of people, many inebriated.

Between 2015, when Boris Johnson was London mayor, and 2021, the Metropolitan Police budget will have suffered a £1.4 billion cut from Coalition and Conservative governments, and a further £110million reduction due to Covid-19 costs ministers are refusing to refund that will hit London and K&C officer numbers. Between 2010 and 2019 UK police funding fell by 30% reducing police numbers by 23,000.

In the past weeks multiple illegal streets events have taken place on North Kensington’s streets and estates until 2am and later, often concentrated along the Portobello and Golborne Road Market area. They breach social distancing rules and loud music booms out for many hours disrupting the lives of residents and their families​and attracting drug dealing and serious violence. The majority of crowds, sometimes hundreds strong, do not live here and leave behind mountains of rubbish ​and are working against the recovery of our markets and local economy.

North Kensington, Colville Ward Cllr Monica Press said:

“On the Portobello Road we’ve not been able to sleep for three nights.  The local and London Met Police are doing the best they can but given the cuts and their limited resources plus the number of incident across North Kensington on Friday night, they weren’t able to provide the level of policing residents required in Portobello Road and eventually after midnight the Territorial Support Group were brought in to disperse the 300 strong crowd.  Local pubs and supermarkets must take some responsibility as we witnessed no attempt to reduce alcohol sales, close early or disperse the crowds from the few premises open”

RBKC Labour Group Leader Cllr Pat Mason said:                                                                                     

“Shame on the government for playing political football with Sadiq’s Policing, Fire and public transport budgets during the Codiv-19 pandemic. Starving the GLA of cash is blatant interference in the mayoral election and hurts the most vulnerable people in North Kensington and the Borough. If the PM can afford a £1.3 trillion banks bail out in recent weeks then he can afford to properly fund the police when they are working to protect our communities”.

For further information contact: Cllr Pat Mason: 07496 538 101

Grenfell Third Anniversary

It is with the utmost sadness that we approach the 3 years’ anniversary of the Grenfell atrocity. 72 lives were lost, many others are bereaved. We are still waiting for answers. We mourn every one of those citizens. This current pandemic will not prevent us from commemorating them and seeking justice. Our quest goes on. Peace be with all those we have lost. We shall not forget them.

This year’s anniversary will be marked virtually. Please join the community from your homes. Details of the events are below.

For further information please follow the groups who have organised these events.

Grenfell United – or on twitter @GrenfellUnited

Humanity for Grenfell –

Justice4Grenfell – or on twitter @officialJ4G

Statement on the Racist Murder of George Floyd

RBKC Labour Opposition Group

Statement on the Racist Murder of George Floyd

The RBKC Labour Opposition Group of Councillors condemns the extrajudicial and racist killing of George Floyd on 25th May by white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes in full view of members of the public whilst three other police officers did nothing to stop his killing and prevented bystanders from intervening.

We condemn President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn the officers involved in the killing whilst branding protesters as terrorists. Or to condemn the Minneapolis Police Department which the City Council has vowed to dismantle and replace with a Community-based safety force. We also condemn Prime Minister Boris Johnson who failed for many days to acknowledge the tide of racism and hatred affecting many in the US, belatedly only saying it was “inexcusable” – racism and hatred that extends to the UK where we have seen extensive peaceful demonstrations we support against the police killing of George Floyd and similar attacks and killings by police officers in the UK.

We support the call to suspend the UK’s export of tear gas, rubber bullets and other military equipment to the US that may be used against peaceful protesters, as we have called in the past for the suspension of arms sales to Saudia Arabia, Israel, and 24 other countries who are accused of violating human rights.  

We have long experience of racism and racist attacks in North Kensington. We remember and honour the memory of Kelso Cochrane, murdered by fascist Blackshirts in 1959, the first recorded racist murder in the UK. On the 50th anniversary we commemorated his life with his family and raised a plaque at the site where he was killed. We are initiating a proposal to change the name of Southam Street to Kelso Cochrane Street in his memory.

When a young black North Kensington student El Harding was racially abused and attacked at his place of work in February this year, we protested, lobbied politicians and police, and continue to work with his family. We will support and work with any of our residents subjected to vile and unacceptable racist comments and attacks, and are always ready to call out incidents of institutional or ‘casual’ racism.

It is nearly three years since the terrible atrocity at Grenfell Tower. Many of us believe that the options taken by decision-makers to keep costs down would never have been taken for homes of their own families.

And many believe that the survivors would have been treated better if they had been from white British backgrounds.

Kensington and Chelsea is the most unequal borough in Britain. And the brutal and pervasive Covid-19 has leeched into our communities, resulting in one of the worst infection rates among wealthier neighbouring boroughs. This runs parallel with poverty, ill-health, and other factors we are struggling to understand. We may never get accurate statistics as many of our sick go to die in hospitals elsewhere.

Kensington and Chelsea Labour Group of Councillors pledges to call out racism wherever we see it, and stand by those calling it out. We will continue to support black and BAME organisations, to fight against inequality and injustice wherever we see it, and work to eradicate racism, which degrades our humanity.

9th June 2020