Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana has hailed the hard work of police and praised the resilience shown by local residents during the Earlsdon stand-off.
The Labour MP visited the police cordon on Earlsdon Avenue North for the second time in less than 24 hours, having also visited last night (Wednesday January 12).
Following a briefing by West Midlands Police in Earlsdon Community Library this afternoon on the fifth day of the stand-off, she spoke to CoventryLive and said: “I think the police have been handling the situation so well.
“I have been reassured and updated daily about what the police are doing and information about the situation.
“This is the second largest police force in the country and there hasn’t been an impact on resources.
“People are still able to get the help that they need if they need the police.”
Ms Sultana also commended local businesses that have been affected – particularly Taylors Butchers and O’Toole’s Cafe – and offered to try to assist them.
She said: “I know the cafe and the butchers have been deeply impacted and lots of people who haven’t been able to get to work.
“They have shown so much patience and resilience with this situation, actually just helping and providing food to the police and residents here.
“Whatever help they need, however I can help, I am very keen to do so.
“I am sure they are going to need a lot of people to come in when this situation is peacefully resolved.
“So I encourage everyone to go to the butchers, to go to O’Toole’s.”
Other organisations singled out for praise by Ms Sultana were the charity Langar Aid and the Royal Bengal, both of whom have been helping to feed people.
“Coventry shows such amazing hospitality and charity and warmth to everyone who is in need,” she said.
And speaking of Langar Aid she added: “They show such kindness whenever there is a crisis.
“Actually this is their home turf so I am not surprised they were here donating food and helping.
“I think that actually shows the kindness which we see in Coventry.
“It is Langar Aid, it’s the Royal Bengal, it’s people offering their houses for people to sleep in, to shower, people offering grocery shops and so forth.
“I think that is just Coventry, it’s community and we saw that in the pandemic as well and this is just another example of that kindness.”
Ms Sultana stressed how she felt it was important she visited the scene as soon as possible.
“I had been in Westminster until yesterday afternoon,” she said.
“Once I was able to get out of Parliament, I came straight here last night just to speak to officers and offer my appreciation and gratitude and my thanks to them and I thought I would come again today.
“For me it is really important just to be here as the member of Parliament to say thank you.
“I know I am speaking on behalf of other residents in Earlsdon and in Coventry who are also really grateful.
“Just saying thanks is the least that I can do.”
Keep up with all of the latest local news with our daily newsletter