Rioters’ shop attacks condemned

"I have the greatest sympathy for those who’ve lost businesses, staff whose jobs are now in jeopardy and customers now without local services.

"There may be genuine economic or community relations grievances in these areas but they will not be helped by torching shops.

"Retail is at the heart of thriving communities. Clearly, with high streets under pressure anyway, at least some of the businesses destroyed will not be able to re-establish themselves, causing long-term damage.

"And, at a time when some of London’s most deprived areas are looking forward to a substantial spending boost from visitors to next year’s Olympics, this sends an appalling message to would-be tourists around the world."

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