The New West End Company, the body which represents retailers in the area, has written to London Mayor Boris Johnson to demand a crackdown on protests in the West End following Saturday’s riots.
In a letter to the Mayor from chairman Dame Judith Mayhew, the New West End Company has called for a summit to discuss the problems. “It is not acceptable that one of the world’s most important retail and leisure destinations is so regularly disrupted by a relatively small minority of individuals bent on random destruction and unrest.”
Mayhew added that there is “a danger that [the protests] will damage the West End and London’s reputation if allowed to continue”
She demanded that future marches should be routed away from shopping areas, that protest organisers should be asked to provide insurance against damage caused, and for clarity on what represents acceptable behaviour by protesters. “I do not accept that a bonfire burning at Oxford Circus is anything other than totally unacceptable,” Mayhew wrote.
On Saturday, in the latest of a series of disturbances, Fortnum & Mason was occupied while Topshop, Boots and Ann Summers were also targeted. Westminster City Council estimated retailers lost sales worth £5m because of the trouble.