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Notting Hill Carnival should be moved, Tory London mayoral candidate says

Notting Hill Carnival 2023 (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Notting Hill Carnival 2023 (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Notting Hill Carnival should be moved and potentially held in a park, the Conservative Party’s London mayoral candidate has said, following a spate of stabbing incidents.

Two men are in hospital, one in a critical condition, after attacks at the festival held in the streets of west London on Sunday and Monday, while a police officer reported being sexually assaulted.

Susan Hall, who has been selected as the Tory Party’s 2024 London mayoral candidate, called for the event to be held in a different location, saying police “don’t want to be there”.

However, a spokesman for London mayor Sadiq Khan said the event was “born out of the Caribbean community in north Kensington and Notting Hill” and that this should “remain its home”.

Because it's so good and so successful, very, very many people go there, so it's very, very difficult to police, so I'd be urging people to look at somewhere else it could go

Susan Hall, London mayoral candidate

A 29-year-old man is in a critical condition in hospital following a stabbing in Warfield Road, just off Harrow Road, shortly after 9pm on Monday.

A 19-year-old man is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after he was stabbed in Ladbroke Grove shortly before 8pm.

Police said six other men, aged 18, 19, 20, 25, 28 and 40, sustained non-life threatening injuries in separate stabbing incidents on Monday.

There were 275 arrests across the two days of the carnival, with 165 arrests on Monday for a range of offences including possession of offensive weapons, assaults on police officers, possession of drugs and sexual offences.

Ms Hall told LBC: “It’s very upsetting and I’m afraid we have this every single year. It’s an incredible thing, the Notting Hill Carnival. I would just say move it. Move it to where it can be policed much better than where it is now.

“Because it’s so good and so successful, very, very many people go there, so it’s very, very difficult to police, so I’d be urging people to look at somewhere else it could go.”

Asked where it should be moved to, she added: “Perhaps to a park. And let the organisers look and see where they would like it to be moved to.

“Of course, it is up to everybody else, it’s not up to me at this specific point. I just comment that every year – all the accidents, all the stabbings, all the various things that go on that we would not want.

“And I talk to police officers daily, and they don’t want to be there, quite frankly, because they know that they are in danger.”

The Metropolitan Police Federation said on social media: “Once again Notting Hill Carnival marred by serious violence – and attacks on Police Officers. 75 of our colleagues assaulted. Six bitten. One sexually assaulted. One in hospital.

“This is absolutely disgusting. No wonder our members dread policing this event.”

It is expected more than two million people would have taken to the streets of west London by the end of the bank holiday as the carnival, Europe’s biggest street party, celebrated two landmark anniversaries.

A spokesman for Mr Khan said: “The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the world’s biggest street festivals and is part of the very fabric of our city.

“It was born out of the Caribbean community in north Kensington and Notting Hill, and the mayor believes that it’s only right that this remains its home.”

The organisers of Notting Hill Carnival have been approached for comment.