Labour MP David Lammy demands arrests over 'corporate manslaughter' tower block fire

Posted On: 
15th June 2017

Labour MP David Lammy has branded the London tower block blaze an act of “corporate manslaughter”. 

Dozens of people are feared to have died in the Grenfell Tower fire
Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Twelve people have been confirmed dead after the fire at Kensington’s Grenfell Tower, with that figure expected to rise further.

One of those missing is photographer Khadija Saye, whom Mr Lammy described as a “dear friend”.

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Speaking to the Today programme, the Tottenham MP called for arrests to be made over the disaster, as questions grow about how the fire spread so quickly.

“This is the richest borough in our country treating its citizens in this way and we should call it what it is, it’s corporate manslaughter,” he told Radio 4’s Today programme.

“That’s what it is, and there should be arrests made, frankly. It is an outrage.

“Many of us across the country have been caught up in an election, knocking on housing estate doors right across the country, travelling up to the top floors of tower blocks and we know as politicians that the conditions in this country are unacceptable.

“We built buildings in the 70s, those 70s buildings – many of them should be demolished – they haven’t got easy fire escapes, they’ve got no sprinklers, it’s totally, totally unacceptable in Britain that this is allowed to happen and people lose their lives in this way. People should be held to account.”


Theresa May described the event as an “appalling tragedy” and has this morning visited the scene of the fire.

Last night, she promised an inquiry would take place into the disaster.

“Once the scene is secure, once the recovery is complete, then an investigation will take place into the cause of the fire and if there are any lessons to be learned,” the Prime Minister said.

Labour’s frontbench, meanwhile, is calling on the Government to make a statement in the House of Commons about Grenfell Tower.

However, Parliament is not technically in session until the Queen's Speech is delivered, which may not be until 26 June at the earliest as talks between the Tories and DUP drag on.

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey told ITV the “paralysis in Downing Street” was hindering MPs’ ability to hold ministers to account.

“Overnight we have asked the government, get a minister into parliament today, let parliament recognise how serious this tragedy is,” he said.

“It is the sort of thing that allows us to also pay respect to the victims…but importantly it helps provide some of the answers that people are asking about what went off, what’s being done, and most importantly what’s not being done to learn the lessons and act after the last tragedies that we saw now nearly eight years ago.”