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“Hackney Heroine” guest at Tory party conference


Summary of story from The Guardian, October 4, 2011

The woman dubbed the ‘Hackney Heroine’ by the media has attended the Conservative (Tory) party conference as a guest of The Guardian newspaper and addressed fringe meetings.

Pauline Pearce, 46, shot to fame after a YouTube video of her telling off rioters in Tottenham in north London (see WVoN story) received more than a million hits.

Ms Pearce, who describes herself as ‘from the ghetto’, met Tory MPs and ministers, including work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

She asked him how the Conservative government was going to put right all that has gone wrong. “The riots were a real cry for help,” she said.

“We have ghettoised this in our minds,” replied Duncan Smith. “We were saying as long as it’s over there we don’t mind. The riots told us we can’t do this, it matters.”

Ms Pearce also met Sir George Young, who was involved in the aftermath of the Brixton and Toxteth riots in the 1980s. He told her ministers had since tried to recruit more ethnic minorities into the police.

“They haven’t got very far, there’s still a stigma in young black people joining the police or army,” she said.

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