DEREGULATION and privatisation are to blame for the Grenfell Tower inferno and justice must be served for the victims and survivors, Diane Abbott said at the Labour conference yesterday.
The shadow home secretary insisted the fire, which was fuelled by combustible cladding installed on the exterior of the 24-storey west London housing block, was a direct result of Tory-led deregulation of fire standards and inspection, privatisation and outsourcing.
Ms Abbott told delegates — who gave her a standing ovation — that the blaze symbolised the Conservatives’ failure and that this failure “goes further than the borough council.”
She praised the work of Kensington’s first-ever Labour MP Emma Dent Coad and firefighters who worked fl at out in an attempt to manage the blaze that killed around 80 people.
“Labour in government will recruit 3,000 additional firefighters and we fully support the campaigning of the Fire Brigades Union against the cuts,” she said.
“We all saw the photographs of the brave, smoke-blackened firefighters insisting on going back into the flames to save lives.
“We relied on our fire brigade at Grenfell. And the fire brigade must be the lead agency for assessing risk, fire inspections and proper signoff for all major works and refurbishment.
“No more outsourcing to the private sector.”
On policing, Ms Abbott stressed that Britain cannot be kept safe “on the cheap.” She pledged to reverse funding cuts and recruit 10,000 new police officers.
A Labour government would also not dump Britain’s economic problems at the feet of migrants, she added, adding that Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister would have a reasonable approach to managing immigration.