Government Minister For London calls for Notting Hill Carnival to be moved

Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea & Fulham, Minister for Trade & Investment, and Minister for London, has written to the Mayor Of London requesting that control be taken of Notting Hill Carnival, and that it be moved away from Grenfell Tower

On Friday, Greg Hands, the Conservative MP for Chelsea & Fulham, took to Twitter to share a letter written to The Mayor Of London, Sadiq Khan. In it, Hands, who is also the Minister For London, called for control of Notting Hill Carnival to be seized by the Greater London Authority. He also requested that Carnival be moved away from the proximity of ‘a major national disaster’, referring to Grenfell Tower.

The roots of Notting Hill Carnival date back to the ‘Caribbean Carnival’ held indoors in St Pancras Town Hall in 1959. It has existed as an outdoor event since 1966 and has been led by members of London’s West Indian community since its inception.

This is not the first time that Ministers from the Conservative Party have attempted to have the event removed from the area – as recently as October 2016 Lady Victoria Borwick, the former MP for Kensington, called for the event to be moved, citing an increase of violent crime, despite the event being statistically safer than Glastonbury.

Read Greg Hands’ full letter below:

Update [13.32, 7 July]:

Sadiq Khan has responded to the letter, rejecting the call for the festival to be moved, writing:

“The Notting Hill carnival is one of the world’s biggest street festivals and has become a firm London tradition over many decades. It was born out of the African-Caribbean immigrant community in north Kensington and Notting Hill in the 1950s, and it’s only right that this remains its home.

“Any attempt to impose a move to another location on the carnival, particularly at a time when the community has little trust in those in positions of authority, would be a mistake.

“It is only right that this year’s carnival marks the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower and the mayor will work closely with the organisers and the wider community to ensure they are consulted and involved in the planning for an appropriate commemoration.”