Howe & Co solicitors, the lawyers acting for a residents’ association at the Fred Wigg Tower (FWT), Leytonstone, at which the MOD plans to site Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) High Velocity Missile (HVM) systems by Friday 13 July, have met with John Cryer MP and John McDonnell MP in Parliament after yesterday’s High Court hearing. The MPs are so concerned with the MOD’s placement of missiles on residential homes, and the lack of any security for residents at FWT, that they will be writing to the Secretary of State for Defence and laying down an Early Day Motion in Parliament today.
86 residents in the FWT, from 61 of the 108 occupied flats in the 15 storey tower block, submitted to the High Court a petition opposing the deployment of missiles on the roof of their homes.
Yesterday Mr Justice Hadden-Cave refused the residents’ application to apply for judicial review.
Martin Howe, the solicitor representing the residents at the Fred Wigg Tower, said:
“The residents are deeply disappointed that the Court refused them protection and assistance in regard of their genuine fears for themselves and their children arising directly from the intended imminent deployment of troops, armed police and missiles in their homes.”
“The residents live on a council estate in East London. They do not have deep pockets to fund litigation and although their legal team will not charge them a penny they cannot take the risk of appealing and facing a huge legal bill from the Government. Requests to the Government’s lawyers to limit their costs to allow a matter of significant national importance to be litigated in our highest courts was rejected. The residents are therefore forced to seek help other than through the courts. They look to Parliamentarians to come to their aid and they look to family and friends to give them safe haven during the course of the deployment. They cannot afford to seek alternative accommodation without MOD help which has been absolutely refused”.
David Enright of Howe & Co said:
“This issues raised in this case are of the utmost importance. In time of peace is it right that the Armed Forces can take over one’s private home without asking your permission or even consulting you? The court has endorsed the MOD’s right to do just this. The MOD’s new powers are exercised under the Royal Prerogative, and as such this fundamental change in the rights of British people has never been scrutinised by Parliament. We and the residents of FWT are calling on David Cameron to bring this matter before the House urgently so that Parliament can decide if it is right that British people’s homes are no longer their castles, but potential forward operating bases for the MOD. “
Martin Howe (Partner, Howe + Co Solicitors)
T: 07710 921256 or 020 8840 4688
David Enright (Partner, Howe + Co Solicitors)
T: 0798 4465923