Sister of Alice Gross condemns 'extremely insensitive' reference to death in BBC Question Time debate on immigration

The sister of Alice Gross has criticised BBC's Question Time after it featured a discussion related to the case.

Nina Gross described the inclusion on the show of a debate concerning immigration issues arising from the investigation into the 14-year-old's death as "extremely insensitive" and "horrible".

She wrote on Twitter: "It is extremely insensitive to use my family's tragedy for political agendas and discussion. This is a time of grief for our family. In future, please respect our wishes as we grieve.

"This is a personal tragedy which we want to deal with privately, rather than fearing anyone using it for any political agenda.

"Now is not the time for these discussions."

In later posts directed at BBC Twitter accounts, she added: "It is really insensitive and horrible that you have used our family's tragedy on Question Time."

Question Time later apologised.

A post from the show's Twitter account said: "Dear Nina, we're sorry to hear this. We're really sorry for any hurt or offence caused by tonight's programme."

She replied: "Thank you."

Latvian Arnis Zalkalns was identified as a suspect by police searching for the schoolgirl before her body was found in the River Brent in west London on Tuesday, prompting them to launch a murder investigation.

He served seven years in prison in his native country for bludgeoning and stabbing his wife Rudite to death. He is thought to have come to the UK in 2007 but there have been questions about whether UK authorities had any record of his conviction.

Introducing the discussion, Question Time host David Dimbleby said a question was submitted to the panel referring to the "hideous murder of Alice Gross".

He said: "The question is whether there should be freedom of movement including convicted criminals across EU borders."

A discussion lasting around eight minutes followed.

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