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Grenfell Tower fire: Sadiq Khan asked to consider moving this year's Notting Hill Carnival

Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands thinks it is imperative the event goes ahead this year, but not near the site of "a major national disaster"

An MP whose constituency borders Kensington and Grenfell Tower has called on the Notting Hill Carnival to be relocated this year.

Greg Hands , the Minister for London who represents Chelsea and Fulham, discussed the matter with London Mayor Sadiq Khan earlier this week and has written to him suggesting it be inappropriate to stage the annual event “in the near proximity of a major national disaster”.

He is also calling for Greater London Authority (GLA) to take over the carnival in conjunction with current organiser, the London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprise Trust (LNHCET) .

Greg Hands

His calls have been welcomed by his Conservatives colleagues in the GLA, with London Assembly Member for Kensington Tony Devenish calling it an “excellent and constructive proposal”.

Earlier this week, LNHCET chairman Pepe Francis MBE said the tragedy will “cast a dark shadow’ over Notting Hill Carnival .

Mr Hands stressed the importance of the Carnival taking place this year in a letter sent to Mr Khan on Friday (July 7), in which he reveals they had “positive and constructive discussion” during a meeting on Wednesday (July 5).

It reads: “We also briefly discussed whether it should be appropriate to further explore the arrangements for the Notting Hill Carnival this year, given the recent tragic events in the area.

“The carnival is an important and symbolic community celebration in our capital’s calendar and one greatly valued and enjoyed by both Londonders and visitors alike. Clearly it should go ahead.

“However we have to ask ourselves if it is appropriate to stage a carnival in the near proximity of a major national disaster . I would like you to consider moving the location, and the GLA, with its experience of running major events, taking over the carnival, in conjunction with the current organisers.”

Mr Devenish, whose West Central constituency includes the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster, welcomed the suggestion. He said: “This is an excellent and constructive proposal that gives Sadiq Khan the opportunity at such a sensitive time to ensure this important cultural event runs smoothly.

“Given it is held so close to Grenfell Tower, the Mayor should use the resources at his disposal to ensure sensitivity and crowd safety are paramount to the event’s organisation.

Performers on a float take part in the 2016 Notting Hill Carnival(Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

“These moments are what Londoners elected Sadiq Khan for and he should step up to the plate and deliver a Carnival the whole community can celebrate at a time of such mourning.”

getwestlondon has approached LNHCET for comment.

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