The most toxic cover up of them all
Wednesday 8 February 2023
15.30 at 10 Downing Street
Today, on the ninth anniversary of the death of their 7-year-old son, Zane, Kye and Nicole Gbangbola, Zane’s Mummy and Daddy, have handed in a letter to Rishi Sunak, in the wake of further non-action from him and his government. Natalie Bennett, Green Party Peer, who has been supporting the campaign for the Truth About Zane, joined them outside No 10.
On 21st October last year, which would have been Zane’s 16th birthday, Kye and Nicole, alongside Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, handed in a petition to No 10, signed by over 117,000 people, calling for an Independent Panel Inquiry into Zane’s death.
Kye, Nicole, Matt Wrack and their thousands of supporters, including Andy Burnham and Sir Keir Starmer, had hoped for a positive response – that the government would at last do the right thing and give Zane the justice he deserves. Instead, Kye and Nicole have not even received an acknowledgement of their petition. Neither has Rishi Sunak replied to a letter they addressed to him, personally.
So, on this most painful of days, the anniversary of their son’s death, Kye and Nicole are trying again…Below is the full text of the letter to Rishi Sunak that they handed in today.
Dear Rishi Sunak,
Today is the ninth anniversary of the death of Zane Gbangbola, our beloved son, who was killed during the terrible River Thames flooding, in Chertsey, in 2014.
Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) was detected in our riverside home by the Surrey Fire Service’s HAZMAT team on the 8th February 2014, the night Zane died, not once, but on three separate sweeps of our house. The HCN was detected at very high levels, as stated in Public Health England’s National Incidents Recording System.
It was known by the council that a contaminated landfill site lay behind our home. Yet, despite the existence of several reports about this site, identifying a ‘high risk of migrating landfill gasses capable of causing significant harm, serious injury and death’, no investigation into the site being the source of the HCN contamination detected was undertaken.
At Zane’s Inquest, held in June 2016, the Coroner determined that Zane’s death was caused by Carbon Monoxide poisoning, despite the fact that no Carbon Monoxide (CO) had been detected at the incident by the HAZMAT team during any of their sweeps and that only Hydrogen Cyanide had been found.
In his verdict, the Coroner said that the source of the CO came from a faulty petrol pump, which he claimed was in operation at our house at the time. This was not true. We always said, categorically, that we had not used that faulty pump. And the Surrey Fire Service’s HAZMAT team confirmed the truth of what we said. When they detected HCN in our house, they had also logged that the said petrol pump was cold and had not been in use.
Since the tragedy, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has consistently stood at our side in our demand for the truth, and for a full and fearless Independent Panel Inquiry for Zane to uncover it.
On 21st October last year, which would have been Zane’s sixteenth birthday, we delivered our petition, signed by over 117.000 people, demanding an Independent Panel Inquiry into Zane’s death. Our petition hand-in coincided with the imminent departure of Liz Truss from the office that you now hold.
Your government’s response to our 117,000 strong petition has been to ignore it. We received a letter from Rebecca Pow MP at DEFRA simply repeating what she’d said in a letter she wrote in 2020, when she responded to Spelthorne Borough Council’s demand for an Independent Panel Inquiry for Zane. Ms Pow wrote then, as now:
‘If Zane's parents believe that there is new evidence available, they should consider making an application to the Attorney General asking her to apply to the High Court to quash the inquest and order a fresh coroner investigation.’
In her letter to us, Ms Pow made no acknowledgement of the fact that our petition had been handed in to No.10 Downing Street and no acknowledgement of the 117,000 people who have voiced their demand for an Independent Panel Inquiry for Zane.
Furthermore, we have had no acknowledgement from you, Prime Minister, although we wrote to you on 21st December 2022.
Will you please now do the right thing and grant Zane Gbangbola the Independent Panel Inquiry he deserves, to uncover the truth about what happened to him and deliver the justice that he and all citizens deserve?
We look forward to your reply.