London: There were demands that London mayor
Boris Johnson and leading lights of the David Cameron
government return from the August holidays over the recent
riots as police arrested around 160 people over another night
of looting and rioting.
Unrest was largely under control during the day today, as
Home Secretary Theresa May was cutting short her holiday to
return to London and deal with the tensions.
The opposition Labour demanded that Johnson also return
from his holiday.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who returned from
holiday and attended office today, described the second night
of rioting as "needless opportunistic theft and violence"
which he said had "absolutely nothing to do with the death of
Clegg denied that senior ministers` holidays meant that
the Government "wasn`t functioning very effectively" in the
face of the riots.
While May was on the way back from her break, David
Cameron and chancellor George Osborne remain away.
Clegg said: "I reject completely this notion that somehow
this Government hasn`t been functioning very effectively
indeed last week and this week.
"We are in constant contact with each other and we are
working effectively together as a team this week as we do
every week of the year," said Clegg.
"We have arranged things to make sure this Government
works effectively on all the issues of the day".
Johnson, however, is refusing to follow May`s lead and cut
short his holiday.
His stance has been defended by Kit Malthouse, the deputy
mayor for policing in London, who said a return would "kind of
As former deputy prime minister and senior Labour leader
said Johnson continuing his holiday while parts of London
burned was "unbelievable", Johnson told the BBC by phone: "I
am not going to come back at the moment because I have
complete confidence in the police and I think that they are
doing a very, very good job".