Howe + Co solicitors are the lawyers acting for the residents’ association at the Fred Wigg Tower (FWT), Leyton, where the MOD is today installing a Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) High Velocity Missile (HVM) system.
Residents report that soldiers and armed police are currently on site installing HVMs on the roof of their homes.
The issue of the failings in Olympic Security is to be debated in the House of Commons today with the Home Secretary to make an urgent statement in the Commons.
Howe + Co met with local MP, John Cryer, immediately after the residents’ failed High Court challenge on Tuesday.
John Cryer has today laid down the following Early Day Motion (EDM) in parliament:
“That this House recognises the need to provide reasonable security for the Olympic Games but is concerned at the unprecedented decision of the Ministry of Defence, in peacetime and where no emergency has arisen, to station troops, armed police and Ground Based Air Defence missile systems on top of Fred Wigg Tower, a civilian residential block of flats, Leyton, without any consultation with the residents affected and without bringing the matter before this House for consideration by Members, despite the fact that seven years have passed since this country was awarded the Olympic Games; calls on the Ministry of Defence to examine urgently the possibility of building a temporary tower for the missile systems instead of such weapons and launch pads being sited over the heads of the ordinary men, women and children who have had no say in the decision or alternatively to provide proper security to protect the residents living in Fred Wigg Tower from potential terrorist attack and to provide financial assistance to concerned and worried residents who wish to move for the duration of the Olympic Games and Para-Olympic games.”
Martin Howe, the solicitor representing the residents at FWT, said:
“Missiles are being placed on the roof of Fred Wigg Tower today, without any regard for the safety concerns genuinely felt by the residents. The MOD never asked these ordinary British people for their permission to turn their homes into a missile launch base and never consulted with them over their fears that accidents may occur and about what will be done to protect them in the event of a terrorist attack on their homes.
These are not fanciful fears. Only a few months ago this council owned block was engulfed in flames. Disabled residents, children, men and women struggled to escape down smoke filled staircases in the dark of night. Astonishingly, we now know that the MOD will not be putting any security in place around Fred Wigg Tower. Any person, including a terrorist, can walk straight into Fred Wigg Tower and take the lift to the 17th floor where the missiles are stationed. Only at that point will they meet armed police guarding the soldiers. The lack of even basic perimeter and entrance security is frightening.”
Martin Howe (Partner, Howe + Co Solicitors)
T: 07710 921256 or 020 8840 4688
David Enright (Partner, Howe + Co Solicitors)
T: 0798 4465923
Email: partners [at] howe [dot] co [dot] uk