Britain's lack of Democracy to blame for Grenfell Disaster: Shadow Chancellor McDonnell
June 26, London: Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, has blamed the British Government and the lack of democracy in the counrty for the Grenfell disaster.
Speaking at Glastonbury Festival, McDonnell blamed “financial speculation” trumping good housing policies for the June 14 tragedy that is so far known to have left 79 people dead or missing.“Is democracy working? It didn’t work if you were a family living on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower,” the frontbencher said during a debate on housing hosted by the music festival.
“Those families, those individuals – 79 so far and there will be more – were murdered by political decisions that were taken over recent decades.”
It is believed the metal sheets and insulation used in the building’s refurbishment in 2014 were in part to blame for the fire’s violent spread.
The Kensington and Chelsea borough council, which was responsible for Grenfell Tower’s Lancaster estate, as well as the Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), have been severely criticized for the response to residents’ concerns over fire safety in the building.
“The decision not to build homes and to view housing as only for financial speculation rather than for meeting a basic human need made by politicians over decades murdered those families,” McDonnell said.
“The decision to close fire stations and to cut 10,000 firefighters and then to freeze their pay for over a decade contributed to those deaths inevitably, and they were political decisions.”
A statement by the Association of British Insurers published in the Financial Times revealed on Sunday that the body had been calling on Prime Minister Theresa May’s ministers to review fire-safety regulations since 2009.
Meanwhile, thousands of people have since been displaced in London and other cities, where tower blocks were found to be covered in combustible cladding similar to that used in Grenfell.
The Oslo Times International News Network