In response to last week’s events in Woolwich, the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council Liam Smith released a statement condemning the attacks. The local MP Jon Cruddas is in full support of the statement, agreeing that incidents such as this need to be tackled head on.

Barking and Dagenham has a long history of championing our armed forces, recognising the huge commitments they make. The local Council along with others across the country recently introduced the ‘Veterans Champion’ initiative which is a specific position dedicated to help provide ex-service men and women with a smooth transition from military to civilian life.

Speaking on behalf of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and all of its residents, the Leader of the Council Cllr. Liam Smith, who is also the boroughs veterans champion said:

"Our first thoughts must be with the victim of this despicable attack. We also send our condolences to his family, friends and to his regiment all of whom must feel utterly devastated.

"This was a vile and abhorrent attack on our democratic way of life. To murder a soldier in support of a perverted political cause in this way strikes at the very heart of so much that is good about our great nation. It must and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Our service people reflect all that is best about our country - they serve to protect us and deserve our thanks and tribute. We think about all of those in our armed forces who must feel so much sorrow today. We will stand by them always.

"Our community is enriched by the different cultures that create it. Terrorist attacks such as this will never succeed. We will never yield in our determination to cherish and defend how we live together."