Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and his LibDem challenger Brian Paddick have both issued statements condemning vandalism at the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford.
The Metropolitan Police are investigating as a racially motivated attack the smashing of six large windows at the centre which is supported by the embattled London Development Agency.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: “I am disgusted by this racist attack on the Stephen Lawrence Centre, which comes only one week after it officially opened. This latest outrageous act of racism follows several others over the past few months on the centre.”
“It also comes on the anniversary of the inquest that confirmed Stephen’s death to be an unprovoked racist murder, and will be even more distressing for his mother Doreen, who has fought to establish this cultural landmark for the whole community. I would urge anyone to come forward immediately if they can assist the police investigation.”
“The London Development Agency, which helped fund the centre, will offer any assistance if this is required.'”
Mr Paddick, who visited he centre earlier today, said “The tragic death of Stephen Lawrence was a landmark in Police and Community Relations. The way the police investigate racist crimes today is a direct result of what happened to Stephen, which makes an attack on the Stephen Lawrence Centre all the more significant and disgraceful.”
“The crime is being investigated by the Hate Crime Unit at Lewisham CID which was set up as a result of Stephen’s death. We have a long way to go if London is to be rid of the scourge of racism.”
“I extend my sympathies to Stephen Lawrence’s family at this terrible time.”