Cleaning the Litvinenko house

Yesterday it was off to meet London Turkish Radio after my surgery at Wood Green library – they are next door. Kelami Dedezade (Chair) and Erkan Patirmacioglue (Managing Director) were my hosts. There is a huge Turkish speaking community in London – and LTR operated a 24-hour program – which is quite something.

After that, next up was pursuing Haringey Council as to what stage the ‘character survey’ on the Litvinenko house has reached. The current situation as I understand it is that the specialist survey company who were going in to assess the risk and levels left in the house of the Pollonium 210 did go in last week and were in there for three days. The results should be completed within three weeks and I have asked the Council to inform me of those results as soon as they are out.

It looks like there’ll still be an issue over who pays for the clean up of the house. The Council has made it clear it will not pay. The Government has made it clear they will not pay. I have just had a letter from Ruth Kelly telling me that it is the house owner’s responsibility to pay. Maybe so. However, as the local MP my concern is the well-being – both mental and physical – of those living near the house. One such neighbour has a baby – and when I sat in their back garden the windows of the Litvinenko house were only a few metres away. If that was me – I would want the house certified clear and clean of radiation before I relaxed about it.

I will write back to Ruth Kelly, for whilst I accept that it may very well be the house owner’s responsibility – I want to know what action both Haringey Council will take and the Government will take if the house owner does not act to clean the house.