Boris Johnson accuses Labour of ‘outrageous politicking’ over Grenfell Tower fire
Boris Johnson has accused the Labour party of “outrageous politicking” over the Grenfell tower fire that has left 30 people dead with many more fatalities feared.
The former London mayor said he found it “unbelievable” that some had sought to link the inferno in Kensington to cuts to the fire service undertaken while he was in City Hall.
Mr Johnson defended his record in power, arguing the number of fires in London went down by 50% and deaths from fire fell "year after year" during his time in office.
In a post on his Facebook page, Mr Johnson also appeared to criticise his successor, Sadiq Khan, arguing he had “ample budget” to address any shortcomings in the area after reviewing London’s fire safety plan.
“There has sadly been some political game playing about the terrible fire in London. I find it unbelievable that Labour are suggesting that this tragedy was somehow caused by fire service cuts,” he said.
“The fire brigade was there astonishingly quickly and performed with great bravery. As for the record, fires in London went down 50% in my mayoralty. Fire deaths down year after year.”
He added: “Sadiq Khan conducted his own review of the London fire safety plan. If he felt that the provision in Kensington was deficient he had ample budget to change it.
“Any attack on emergency services performance is outrageous politicking by Labour.”
A video of Mr Johnson telling a Labour member of City Hall to “get stuffed” during a 2013 debate on cuts to the fire service has resurfaced following Wednesday morning’s tragedy in west London.
London General Assembly member Andrew Dinsmore had accused Mr Johnson of cutting fire stations, fire engines and the number of fire fighter posts – charges the then-mayor rejected.
After accusing Mr Johnson of “lying” to the people of London in the 2012 mayoral election, he replied: “Oh, get stuffed”.
You can watch the clip below:
LETTER TO THERESA MAY
Meanwhile Mr Khan today wrote to Theresa May demanding immediate answers over the failures at Grenfell tower.
He called on the Prime Minister to do more to provide information to the families of victims and the many missing since the tragedy unfolded.
In his letter he said residents in any other tower blocks deemed unsafe should be re-homed in the local area “immediately”.
“I would ask that you to provide a list of those tower blocks already checked by the end of today, as well as a timeline for the remaining buildings,” he wrote.
“I would ask that you to set out a timeline for this process today. If the Government has any reason to believe specific tower blocks could be at risk, residents should be re-homed in the local area immediately, while these checks take place.”
It comes as Mrs May today spoke with victims at London's Chelsea and Westminster hospital after facing a backlash for failing to meet residents when she visited the tower block yesterday lunchtime.
By contrast, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke with victims at a refuge centre in the area and was pictured hugging a woman who is searching for a missing 12-year-old girl.
And today the Queen, flanked by prince William, turned up at the Westway Centre, which is housing those affected by the tragedy.
Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom this morning was confronted by members of the public angry that the Prime Minister had not met with them.