Dianne Abbott - Tories have failed to learn from Grenfell atrocity
Labour's Shadow Home Secretary has blamed the "legacy of Thatcherism" for the disaster, and said the government has not done enough to protect the fire brigade from cuts.
Abbott recently spoke at the launch of the Fire Brigades Union's report, 'Background to an Atrocity', which blames deregulation and
privatisation for the loss of capacity by Britain's firefighting services to respond to emergencies effectively. She also pointed to the loss of over 12,000 fightfighters since 2010 as the Conservatives putting public safety at risk.
"This is the legacy of Thatcherism, and successive governments continued that policy of deregulation and privatisation that she began." said Abbott in an article for PoliticsHome.
"Such an approach continued all the way up to the Grenfell tragedy, which was a direct consequence of deregulation of fire standards and inspection, privatisation and outsourcing. As Jeremy Corbyn has said, “Grenfell is not just the result of bad political decisions. It stands for a failed and broken system which Labour must and will replace.”"
"The Grenfell residents warned about the cladding, the lack of fire safety and they complained about their treatment as second-class citizens."
"Unfortunately, all those warnings were ignored, and the worst possible predictions came to pass."
"People didn’t listen then, but they should listen now."
The article comes as Kensington Council has moved forward with plans to charge residents with rent for property in the tower, even if they have not moved back into their former homes, despite advise from the council's Grenfell recovery scrutiny committee.
The council has told residents they have until the 30th of September to decide whether they wish to return, and after that deadline they may be charged rent on both their new accommodation as well as for properties in the tower.
Local Labour MP, Emma Dent Coad criticised the failure of the council to remove the hard deadline in a letter to the council, writing: “This is not in the spirit of the motion passed at Grenfell recovery scrutiny committee and is deeply out of step with the direction of the discussion there."
“This deadline is creating a climate of fear which is both inhumane and is hindering the ability of deeply traumatised people to make important decisions about their futures.”