Mary Creagh

Working hard for Wakefield

Speech on Grenfell Tower

Mary's speech during a special meeting of MPs and Ministers following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower:

 

Thank you Mr Hurd, I want to echo the thoughts of everyone in the room, our thoughts are with the families of those who survived this unspeakable event. 


The Minister talked about the heroism of the fire fighters. They would say that they were doing their job and they look to us now to do ours. We must secure justice for those who died and we must secure security and dignity for those who have survived and what they want is the certainty of knowing a date when they will have a roof over their heads, a date when they can get their children back to school, and when they will have access to cash so that they're not relying on the kindness of strangers however well-intentioned and loving that kindness may be.


When we talk about this as a tragedy we're talking about it as though it's an act of god but the truth is it wasn't some natural disaster this is a man-made disaster and we look to you both as ministers to leave no stone unturned in getting justice and getting to the bottom of this.


The Minister talked about looking to fire authorities to make sure that they were doing the inspections but they are working to the rules that he sets and if those rules are lacking or have any gaps in them, then he must not allow the one-in one-out regulatory rule to stop him from setting any new regulation that is required.


I want to ask the Minister about the Bellwin scheme - what hard cash is he giving today to Kensington and Chelsea and the surrounding authorities? When we have a flood, we have ministers coming to the House of Commons, telling us the amounts, activating the Bellwin scheme.


This is no-less a disaster than a flood, this is incalculable in the impact on those people who have survived unimaginable trauma, and the local authority deserves to know how much in pounds, shillings and pence they can expect to receive from the government in order to underwrite the cost of rehousing hundreds of homeless families, dealing with dozens, scores of traumatised friends, relations and giving dignity and justice to the victims and their families.

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