After more than 23 weeks of waiting the Attorney General has given his decision. He WILL allow an application for a fresh inquest into the death from asthma of Ella. The decision has now paved the way for a new inquest to determine whether “unlawfully high levels of air pollution” were partially the cause of her death. This, if successful, means that Ella’s will be the first individual death to be officially linked to illegal levels of air pollution. This puts the pressure on national government, local government and individuals to finally do something about cleaning up the air we breathe. It is unacceptable that in the 21stcentury people are dying in Britain and worldwide from dirty air.
One of the grounds for calling a fresh inquest was that permitting illegal levels of air pollution was a potential breach of human rights under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights – which protects the right to life.
Mrs Cockburn said: “A new inquest could mean that a wide range of “interested parties” could be called to give evidence. This could include the local authority, the Mayor of London along with the local NHS Trust and Defra.”
The attorney general’s decision followed a report by Prof Stephen Holgate, a leading expert on asthma and air pollution, which found there was a “striking association” between Ella’s emergency hospital admissions and recorded spikes in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM10s, the most noxious pollutants.
His report said there was a “real prospect that without unlawful levels of air pollution, Ella would not have died”. – BBC News
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