Southwark Council dismisses Simon Hughes MP's calls for pan-London bomb strategy as "massive overreaction"

Catherine Neilan
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The bomb was discovered in Bermondsey on Monday (Source: MoD)

Southwark Council has dismissed Bermondsey MP Simon Hughes' call for a London-wide strategy around unexploded bombs as “a massive overreaction”.

Council leader Peter John told City A.M that across London emergency response plans were “well oiled and well drilled” - and that any further measures were “unncessary”.
“There has been a huge amount of building work across London in the last few years, so I wouldn't anticipate we would suddenly find hundreds,” he said.
Although unable to estimate the number of undetonated devices around the capital, he noted that seven had been found and diffused by the MoD in the last five years, and that he expected the rate continue.

The bomb was exploded at a quarry in Kent this morning (Source: MoD)

“There will be a debrief, but I don't think it requires us to invent some new pan-London plan,” John said. “Simon Hughes is a month away from an election, he's got to say something for his electorate to hear. I think his praise for the efforts ]in diffusing the bomb] is more a true reflection of what he feels.
“Simon Hughes would have been better off helping people, rather than writing letters to my chief executive.”
John also rejected Hughes' claim that there had been issues with the communication to local residents that had left people confused as to when they could return home or how far the evacuation zone needed to extend.
“It was a fluid situation... you can't have instant answers to all the questions,” he said. “The people I spoke to at the rest centre were incredibly happy and relieved to be there. They weren't very happy about having to leave their homes at 5am but I wouldn't be either.”

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