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PM on Tottenham tour: Duggan's death was 'tragic'

DAMAGE: PM David Cameron joins Tottenham MP David Lammy to see the aftermath of the riots himself

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron made a fleeting visit to Tottenham early this morning to speak to those left homeless by the riots.

After touring Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, in Philip Lane – used as refuge for food and clothing – he held private talks with some of the 200 people affected.

He then spoke with the local emergency services at a nearby fire station to hear of the challenges they faced while dealing with the disturbances that broke out on Saturday, August 6, when a peaceful protest turned sour.

Cameron said: "I wanted to hear first-hand about some of the things you experienced, and some of the things we need to learn from it.

"It was an incredibly challenging situation, perhaps particularly here in Tottenham.

"I've been all over the country hearing about what happened, but this is where things started.

"It was complicated and made difficult by the tragic killing of Mark Duggan - it's been a difficult situation."

According to a Number 10 spokesman, it is not believed that the PM visited the family, although he did hold "roundtable" discussions with some members of the community including business owners.

Mr Duggan was shot dead by The Met’s specialist firearms unit during a bungled arrest.

It took days after the killing for the family to be formally told of his death because of blunders made by the police service and the Independent Police Complaints Commission who is investigating the death.

His family went to Tottenham police station to demand answers as part of a peaceful demonstration but were made to wait for hours to be seen by an official.

Eyewitnesses claimed a 16-year-old girl was attacked by officers which sparked a clash with police, but the allegation has been branded a “myth” by The Met.

Rioters who came from inside the north London borough and outside began setting fire to police cars, trashing businesses and set a number of buildings ablaze causing millions of pounds of damage to the high street.

Tottenham MP David Lammy said: “I am pleased the Prime Minister came to Tottenham to see the suffering and hear the anger of local people first hand.

“I know there will have been plenty for him to consider on his way back to Downing Street. The residents, businesses and emergency services who met him were very clear about the concerns they had before that Saturday night and since and I fully expect him to address those issues.”

Speaking from his constituency in Whitney yesterday, the PM said he acknowledged events in Tottenham appeared to stem from anger toward the police, unlike areas like Salford where the looting seemed to be the work of organised criminals.

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