London Mayor Sadiq Khan has insisted that this year's Notting Hill Carnival will go ahead as usual, despite calls from a government minister to move its location following the Grenfell Tower fire.
Minister for London Greg Hands wrote to the Mayor suggesting that this year's Carnival, which takes place near the tower, be moved to a location away from the disaster. Though he conceded that the event "must go ahead," Hands asked if it would be “appropriate to stage a carnival in the near proximity of a major national disaster.”
Hands subsequently published his letter to Khan on Twitter. Stormzy was among the first to criticize him, labeling the minister a "scumbag" and suggesting he is pursuing an agenda with the move.
Look at this scumbag tryna using the Grenfell tragedy for their 'get rid of carnival' agenda. We ain't buying it mate https://t.co/T5u5RhQD5s— #GSAP (@Stormzy1) July 7, 2017
Khan soon rejected the request, tweeting that Carnival is "incredibly important to the local community."
Notting Hill Carnival is a firm London tradition and incredibly important to the local community. It should not be moved. https://t.co/NpNsTtGiV7— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) July 7, 2017
The Guardian quotes Khan as having added: "Any attempt to impose a move to another location on the carnival, particularly at a time when the community has little trust in those in positions of authority, would be a mistake.
“It is only right that this year’s carnival marks the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower and the mayor will work closely with the organisers and the wider community to ensure they are consulted and involved in the planning for an appropriate commemoration.”
This year's Notting Hill Carnival is scheduled to take place on August 27-28.