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Pete Lawrence - 15 Jun 2017
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Labour MP David Lammy, appearing on this morning's Radio 4 Today programme being intereviewed by Nick Robinson, has labelled the Grenfell Tower fire as “corporate manslaughter” and out out a call for arrests to be made over the disaster. 

The Tottenham MP described the fire as an “outrage”, stating: “This is the richest borough in our country treating its citizens in this way.

“We should call it what it is, it's corporate manslaughter, that's what it is and there should be arrests made, frankly," he added, without referring to any specific individuals.

Hear what Lammy said :

 

Theresa May has promised a "proper investigation" amid growing concerns about how the fire could have spread so rapidly.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader has responded:

"Obviously ministers that served and received those reports must be questioned. But today every focus and every concentration must be on saving and protecting life"

Corbyn suggested that Theresa May’s  new chief of staff must face questions over a delayed fire safety report after one of the capital's most deadly blazes for many decades tore through the Grenfell Tower in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Mr Corbyn’s comments were made after it transpired that Gavin Barwell, former housing minister who was recently appointed as the Prime Minister’s adviser, failed to give the green light to a fire safety review he had received during his tenure in Whitehall. 

During an interview with LBC Radio, Mr Corbyn also suggested spending cuts could have contributed to blaze, adding “searching questions” need to be asked about what happened at the west London tower bloc.

“If you deny local authorities the funding they need, then there is a price that’s paid," he added.

Mr Corbyn said that calls for sprinklers to be installed in high-rise buildings after a fatal fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell in 2009 had not been heeded.

While the Labour leader said “every focus and every concentration must be on saving lives” in the immediate hours, he added: “A review took place after the fire in Camberwell and the Government has that review. 

“I believe we need to ask questions about what facilities and resources have been given to local authorities that have tower blocs in the area and, frankly, most do. We need to deal with this –we need people to be safe living in high rise buildings.

Asked whether that involved any current serving frontbench politicians, he replied: “Obviously ministers that served and received those reports must be questioned. But today every focus and every concentration must be on saving and protecting life.” 

The fire expert behind the report calling for the desperately needed safety appraisal, said he had spoken with Mr Barwell earlier this year and the then-minister told him no decision on the review had been taken. 

Former chief fire officer Ronnie King said: “Mr Barwell said he was still looking at it.”

He added: “Mr Barwell said he was still looking at it and was preparing to meet with the All-Party group. That's when the election was called and the meeting never happened.”

Billy Bragg made a moot point on Facebook about health and safety critics this morning as old footage of Boris Johnson was circulated on social media.

James O'Brien on LBC suggested that following the tragic fire, the public's safety should be primary concern of politicians, rather than "a game"

The clip in question is from a Mayor's Question Time session from Mr Johnson's time in City Hall, when London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore asked te Mayor: "How can cutting fire stations, cutting fire engines, cutting firefighters posts not be a reduction in fire coverage?"

Mr Johnson responded: "Because we're improving fire coverage, as I said several times, by continuing to reduce deaths from fire and continuing to reduce the incidents of fire. That is the name of the game."

Mr Dinsmore insisted: "You've lied to the people of London in your election."

But Boris hit back, saying: "Oh get stuffed."

2 Comments

2128

Dave Dann

"there should be arrests made, frankly," he added, without referring to any individuals specifically. "
I don't see much value in this article and the above sentence is the most devoid of value.
It MAY well turn out to be corporate manslaughter but the author is not a judge assessing the evidence.

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Pete Lawrence

There is no assessment made here, just a reporting of what he said with a qualification that no specific names were mentioned, which is undeniable

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