Barking and Dagenham MPs hit out at mosque protesters

Barking and Dagenham’s MPs have criticised the �protests against the plans for the mosque and community centre in Green Lane.

Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, said that she wanted to work alongside residents to resolve the parking problems, which were not exclusive to Green Lane.

She said: “The people �behind the application want the centre to be a part of the community.

“They want it to be somewhere where young and elderly people feel they can visit, and they want the area’s Safer Neighbourhood Police team to have a base there.”

“I know that a number of residents were surprised that the council passed the application because of the parking problems that already exist in the area and that Green Lane should have more shops.

“The shops are not closing because of the community centre. The butcher decided to sell up after trading in Green Lane for many years.

“The other shops have been given the opportunity to relocate to the other side of the road.

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“I know this is controversial. What we must do is come together now that the decision has been taken and not be �exploited by extremists.”

MP for Dagenham and Rainham, Jon Cruddas, added: “Local people have told me they were appalled at the �intimidation and threatening nature of the English Defence League on the streets.

“The proposed location is not in my constituency but as I understand it any application are dealt with by the Faiths �Forum who work together with the authority to find the best places for any religious application.”