News

Prime Minister and Home Secretary pay their respects

28 October 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel visited Grays today (Tuesday 28 October) to pay their respects to 39 victims of the tragic incident discovered in Eastern Avenue, Grays, on Wednesday, 23 October.

They were joined by Leader of Thurrock Council Cllr Rob Gledhill, Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price, Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst, Chief Constable of Essex Police BJ Harrington, Interim Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Trust Dorothy Hosein, and Essex Chief Fire Officer Jo Turton as they signed the Book of Condolence and then laid flowers in Mulberry Gardens to pay their respects to all who lost their lives in this tragic incident.

The garden has been established as a temporary location for floral tributes and all flowers left at the scene have been moved there. They are next to Thurrock Council's Civic Offices, where the book of condolence is open for residents to add their thoughts.

Cllr Gledhill said: "The people of Thurrock mourn for the loss of the 39 people who so tragically and cruelly lost their lives in pursuit of a better life. We add our condolences to those shared by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary and we will strive to ensure that this will never happen again."

The book of condolence will be open for members of the public to share their sympathies until 5pm on Friday 8 November. The Civic Offices are open from 8am to 5:15pm, Monday to Thursday, and from 8am to 4:45pm on Fridays.

Mulberry Gardens is open from 8am to 5pm for those who wish to leave flowers – any changes to these temporary arrangements will be communicated widely.

These are the messages left in the book of condolence today:

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

The whole nation and indeed the world has been shocked by this tragedy, and the cruelty of the fate that has been suffered by innocent people who were hoping for a better life in this country. We mourn those who lost their lives. Our thoughts are with their families far away. In condemning the callousness of those responsible for this crime we in the government of the United Kingdom resolve to do everything in our power to bring the perpetrators to justice.

BJ Harrington, Chief of Essex Police

From all at Essex Police and the whole law enforcement community I extend true sorrow for the loss to all the families and loved ones. I can give the absolute commitment that we will do everything in our power to bring to justice all of those who were responsible for the horrific journey that saw these you loved end up on our shores. Our deepest sympathy.

Priti Patel, Home Secretary

In enormous sorrow we remember all who have lost their lives through this deeply tragic event. Souls whose lives were snatched away and who we’ll continue to remember through our actions ahead. In remembrance of those whose lives have been lost and in deep sympathies for the families involved in their saddest and darkest hours. With condolences to the families and our thoughts in remembrance for the lives sadly lost.

Roger Hirst, Police Fire and Crime Commissioner

The thoughts and prayers of the people of Essex are with you. We’ll remember you and work together to make sure others do not have to suffer what you have suffered. We are thinking of your families and loved one. In sincere remembrance.

Jackie Doyle-Price, Thurrock MP

In your memory we will redouble our efforts to fight this evil. With all good wishes to your friends and family. We will never forget you here in Thurrock. God bless you.

Dorothy Hosein, Interim CEO East of England Ambulance Trust

 It is so hard to imagine the immense pain that the family and friends of those who tragically lost their lives are suffering. We want all of you to know our sincere, heartfelt condolences are with you. Best wishes to you all on this very sad event and journey to your recovery.

Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of Thurrock Council

For the 39 who tragically lost their lives in pursuit of a better life, the people of Thurrock mourn for you and we will strive to ensure this never happens again.

Jo Turton, Essex Chief Fire Officer

On behalf of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, our most sincere condolences for your loss. You are in our thoughts and in our hearts.