Rushanara Ali calls on PM to back Bethnal Green disaster memorial

MP Rushanara Ali has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to lend his support to the Bethnal Green tube disaster memorial.

In Britain’s worst wartime disaster, 173 people were killed in a crush on the station’s steps and 90 people were injured as they tried to enter the underground air-raid shelter in 1943.

The Stairway to Heaven fund is trying to raise �200,000 towards a permanent memorial.

At Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday, Ms Ali, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, asked Mr Cameron if he agreed “that there should be a fitting permanent memorial to those who perished”,

She also called on him to lend his support to the campaign.

In response, he said: “I will certainly look very carefully at what the honourable Lady says.

“People will still have strong family memories of what happened at that time.

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“I will see what support my office and I can give.”

Following the PMQs, Ms Ali said: “I hope the Prime Minister will do as he said, and go away and look at this issue and then lend his support to what is an important campaign for the people of the East End.”

There is currently only a small plaque dedicated to the victims of the disaster and the campaign was recently turned down for support by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The hope is that the memorial will be complete in time for the 70th anniversary of the tragedy in 2013.

A commeroration service marked the 68th anniversary on March 6 at St John on Bethnal Green church.