Published: Wednesday, 31st January 2018

Speech from Cllr Matt Hartley, Leader of the Opposition.

The speech was delivered at the Full Council meeting on Wednesday 31 January 2018.

"On behalf of the Opposition, I commend the Leader of the Council's powerful and eloquent speech.

"We disagree on many things in this Council Chamber but it has always been a great strength of our borough that we are able to unite as a community when it matters most.

"We did so in the aftermath of the cowardly murder of Lee Rigby - and we do so again today.

"I don't think any Greenwich resident will forget that day, and we will certainly never forget Lee Rigby, nor any other member of our community killed out of prejudice.

"Since that tragedy this council - its Leader, Chief Executives and Officers - have worked tirelessly to ensure the family of Lee Rigby's wishes are respected. They have had our full support in doing so and it is quite right that Lee's life is commemorated at the Garrison Church, in line with the family's wishes and in consultation with the Army.

"This is a democracy. People have the right to disagree with that decision. People have the right to protest that decision. They do not have the right to intimidate, or make vile death threats to council workers on social media or anywhere else. This was an affront to the values that Lee Rigby and every other member of our armed forces represent.

"I know that we all hope and expect that those responsible will feel the full force of the law.

"And the administration will continue to have the full support of the Opposition - as we take a joint stand against those who would seek to divide us. As we always have and always will."