23 JUN 2017
What has happened at Grenfell Tower is a devastating tragedy for all those involved and a national shame. So many circumstances combined to lead to a terrible and avoidable loss of life. We must rapidly assess then follow the evidence to take immediate action to protect residents in blocks with similar risks.
The PM has already announced that there will be a full public inquiry as there are so many issues that will need to be examined in addition to the cladding which appeared to allow the fire to spread with such deadly speed. Many of these will have relevance in other settings too; the role of fire alarms and sprinklers, the advice given to residents to stay in their flats, inadequate fire exits and the fire hazards posed by electrical appliances.
The issue of corporate responsibility will be investigated and a criminal investigation has already been launched. The role of local and national government both before and after the blaze will also be examined. These issues require full investigation and public inquiries properly set up need not delay urgent action as they can produce interim recommendations which must be followed.
I realise you would have liked to have seen plans for improved fire safety laws included in the Queen's Speech and I do appreciate the calls for this. However, I think that we first need to understand all aspects of what went wrong in this instance before we can take action to ensure something like this never happens again. Nonetheless, you may be interested in the following from the Queen's Speech concerning the tragedy:
My government will initiate a full public inquiry into the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower to ascertain the causes, and ensure that the appropriate lessons are learnt.
To support victims, my government will take forward measures to introduce an independent public advocate, who will act for bereaved families after a public disaster and support them at public inquests.
The PM also provided this further update yesterday(22.06.17)
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