Senior Portsmouth councillor says Mutiny Festival ‘should not continue in Portsmouth’

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A senior councillor has said Mutiny Festival ‘should not continue’ following two deaths linked to the festival.

Councillor Donna Jones has demanded action following the deaths of an 18-year-old Georgia Jones and 20-year-old Tommy Cowan last weekend.

The event, which took place on Saturday on King George V Playing Fields in Cosham, saw 15 people hospitalised after organisers reported a ‘dangerous high strength or bad batch substance’ on site.

Georgia’s mum Janine Milburn posted on Facebook her daughter died after taking ‘two pills’.

READ MORE: Family and friends gather to say farewell to young pair who died after Mutiny Festival

Cllr Jones, Conservative group leader at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘I would be very surprised if the festival continued within the city of Portsmouth.

‘It’s a decision for Mutiny Festival and the licencing committee at Portsmouth City Council but my personal opinion is that it should not continue, not just because of the tragic events of this year but also because of those over the last three years.

‘We had reports of fighting and a lack of police control at Fontwell in 2016, allegations of the sexual touching of minors in 2017 and now these more recent deaths.

‘This is a very adult festival and clearly drugs are free-flowing. From what we’ve seen, unlike Victorious Festival, it’s a musical event that seems to lend itself to drug using – an inappropriate environment for anybody under the age of 18 so I would support the minimum age being lifted if it does continue.’

Cllr Jones, former leader of the council, and a number of other councillors are calling for a full investigation to be conducted.

She added: ‘We have over 3,500 drug-related deaths in the UK each year, one of the highest in the developed world.

‘Portsmouth has been rocked to its core by the death of these two young people taken so tragically.

‘These are such needless and pointless deaths and I hope it sends a clear message to other young people that drugs can and often do kill.’

Cllr Jones also praised Georgia’s mother, for her bravery in sharing the details surrounding her daughter’s death.

Cllr Jones said: ‘Georgia’s mother has been incredibly brave in putting a statement out so quickly and explaining in some level of detail what happened to Georgia.’

She said it ‘must be a wake up call and a warning to other people considering taking drugs for recreational purposes’.

The politician, who is calling for the event to be stopped, said that if it does go on, stricter policies should be put in place by organisers.

She added: ‘A lot of people are saying that there should have been drug testing at the event and I am all for this.

‘I don’t think Mutiny Festival should continue but, if it does, these types of measures should be put in place as they could’ve prevented these deaths. If it does continue, I hope it is moved out of the city.’

Three men have since been arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs.

READ MORE: Police commissioner says ‘we will learn lessons’ from tragedy’