Those at the top may be responsible for riots


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The Independent Online

David Cameron and Ed Miliband clashed yesterday over whether the behaviour of politicians and bankers may have played a part in provoking this month's riots.

Downing Street played down findings of an academic research project suggesting that lack of trust in politicians was a bigger factor in people's willingness to riot.

But Mr Miliband, pictured, and Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, were open-minded about whether alienation from the political class may have played a role. Mr Cameron, who regards the riots as a symbol of Britain's "broken society", yesterday began chairing a Cabinet review of the Government's social policies to see what changes are needed as a result.

Commenting on the research by Essex University and Royal Holloway, University of London, Mr Cameron's spokeswoman said: "One can speculate but we are not necessarily going to know exactly what the causes were."

The Liberal Democrats said the perception that politicians, bankers and others at the top were "getting away with it" may have been a factor in rioters ignoring the "rules of the game" too.