Greens support Surrey family's quest for justice

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and North Surrey Green Party have been supporting a Surrey family seeking proper representation at their son's inquest. Natalie visited the family earlier this week and now the local MP, Kwasi Kwarteng, has taken the matter up with the Prime Minister.

Elizabeth Mansfield, of North Surrey Green Party said: "The North Surrey Green Party is very pleased that Natalie Bennett has responded promptly and effectively in this tragic case, putting pressure on David Cameron to reverse the decision to deny the family legal aid and to bring this injustice further into the light, but we will not rest until justice is done".

The Gbangbola family are trying to secure legal aid, allowing them to be properly represented at the inquest into the death of their seven year old son Zane Gbangbola, who tragically died at his Surrey home in February 2014.

Zane died during the disastrous flooding that struck Surrey and many other parts of Britain. At that time, high levels of hydrogen cyanide were detected at Zane’s home by incident response teams, however, the emergency log read in the coroner court pre-inquest meeting had largely been redacted.

Natalie Bennett wants the Prime Minister to provide assistance like he did for a family whose two children died at a hotel in Corfu in 2006. [1]

Bennett said:

“To lose a child under any circumstances is tragic, but the manner in which Zane died is truly terrible. I am in awe of the family’s determination to find out what happened that night and I’ll do all that I can support them.

“The Gbangbola family need all the support they can get and I urge the Prime Minister to make the necessary moves to ensure they are given legal aid. That is within his gift, he is able to do it, just like in 2014 when he intervened to guarantee legal aid for a family whose two children were tragically killed by fumes whilst sleeping in their hotel room in Corfu.”

On the night of 8 February 2014, all three family members were taken to hospital. Both Kye (father) and Zane had suffered cardiac arrest. Zane died and Kye remains paralysed from the waist down.

Almost 30,000 people have signed a petition calling for an investigation and public debate into the death of Zane. [2]

ENDS

Notes:

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-27638124

[2] https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/call-for-a-public-debate-into-the-death-of-7-year-old-zane?bucket=+via+%4038_degrees

  • Currently the Gbangbola family have been denied legal aid to represent themselves at Zane’s inquest, now set for a six week period at Woking Coroners Court, beginning in June, on the grounds that this case does not touch the public interest.
  • Yet three public bodies, Spelthorne Borough Council, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital NHS Trust and the Environment Agency will all be professionally represented at the inquest, by QC’s and Barristers, at the public’s expense.

Truth About Zane Campaign: www.truthaboutzane.com


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