Theresa May ‘regrets’ Grenfell response

Theresa May has said that she ‘regrets’ her response to the devastating Grenfell Tower blaze last year, which saw 71 people die thanks to cost cutting.

May was widely criticised for refusing to meet with the victims of the fire, something she says she now ‘regrets.’ But a year on, and 72 families remain in temporary accommodation. Sajid Javid, the new home secretary, reported in March that the Tories will fail to meet their pledge.

A spokesperson for Justice4Grenfell, a community led coalition fighting for justice for Grenfell survivors, seemed less than impressed with the May’s remarks:

“The PM has had many regrets this past year: her decision to not meet the community was a catalyst for a trail of catastrophes that she should regret: She promised survivors they would be housed in 3 weeks; she made bereaved families beg for a diverse Inquiry Panel. She has failed to direct her ministers to put the royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea into special measures!”

“We regret that that it has taken her nearly a year to show some respect and some humanity to all those impacted by the Grenfell disaster. We don’t need her political words, we want her political will and action.”

The inquiry into the disaster began last week, and confirmed that improper installation, and the use of cheaper unsafe cladding was the primary cause of the ‘catastrophic’ fire. The council was provided with a costed option for the safer cladding, but declined in order to save £300k. In the end, they spent less on the refurbishment than they made on the sale of just two homes.

The disaster rang alarm bells across the country over similar cost-cutting measures. An enquiry by Glasgow city council found that at least 19 buildings across Glasgow have Grenfell style cladding, though councillors complained of being left in the dark.

Others have taken a proactive approach: a bill put forward by a Labour MSP David Stewart to ensure sprinklers in all new social housing has received 94 per cent support in a public consultation. It will go to Holyrood later this year.

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