Taxpayers will no longer be liable for compensating businesses for loss of income if their buildings are damaged by rioters following a successful Supreme Court appeal by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.
The appeal related to a Sony warehouse which was destroyed in the 2011 riots and followed a Court of Appeal ruling which made the public purse liable for all consequential loss suffered by a business as well as the value of replacing or repairing its premises.
Deputy Mayor for policing and crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, instructed lawyers to appeal that ruling and the case was heard by the Supreme Court in January of this year.
In a verdict published on Wednesday, the court said the scope of the 1886 Riot Damages Act had never been intended to cover consequential loss.
Lord Neuberger, President of the court, said: “I see no reason for inferring that Parliament intended that the statutory compensation should extend beyond the cost of repairing physical damage to property.”
“There is nothing in the wording of the 1886 Act that supports an intention to extend the scope of the compensation to cover consequential loss.”
Commenting after the verdict was published, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime said: “We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision, which is good news for Londoners.
“Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for consequential losses, including losses of profit and rent, incurred by businesses as a result of the 2011 Riots.
“We are pleased that the 130 year-old law under which these claims were made is now being replaced by the government.”