French councillor’s grief over Paris massacre

Leila Roy in Paris with nine-year-old son Anton

Leila Roy in Paris with nine-year-old son Anton - Credit: Archant

French-born Camden councillor Leila Roy has spoken of her grief over the Paris terror massacre on Friday.

Hornsey School for Girls hold a two minute silence

Hornsey School for Girls hold a two minute silence - Credit: Archant

Leila, who is originally French and respresents the Belsize ward, watched in horror as TV images were broadcast throughout the night of the terrifying coordinated attacks in Paris which saw 129 people murdered and 350 injured.

Ms Roy, who is due to visit family in the French capital in December, said: “I watched all night. At first I just felt so furious that Paris has been targeted again. I was really angry.”

This soon turned to relief for the mother-of-one, when she logged into her email to discover that her stepbrothers, stepfather and friends were safe.

“But as other victims started to be identified, I then burst into tears. There was one father who was desperately searching for his daughter who was then identified as one of the dead. It is so tragic and I felt for him as a parent. I then felt a huge urge to get on the next plane and be there in Paris, hugging people and showing solidarity.”

Her stepfather Eric James is an emergency doctor in the French capital where hundreds have been donating blood in a show of solidarity.

The councillor, will still go ahead with a planned visit to France the weekend before Christmas. She said: “People should not change the way they live and give in to the terrorists.”

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Pupils in north london have been marking the tragic events. Hornsey School for Girls held a two minute silence with all students and staff in attendance. Tomorrow lunchtime students will be taking part in a silent protest with messages of support for the people of Paris.

Camden’s borough commander Penny Banham said officers in Camden were on alert. She said: “The MPS are monitoring community tensions closely and have increased patrols across the capital in order to increase security and offer reassurance.

“On Camden Borough, we have additional dedicated reassurance patrols throughout the coming days that will concentrate on areas of heightened footfall and iconic venues.”Having liaised with the British Transport Police, I can inform you that they have increased their patrols around the main transport hubs.”