John McDonnell claims Grenfell victims were 'murdered by political decisions'

Posted On: 
26th June 2017

John McDonnell has claimed the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire were "murdered" by a series of political decisions.

John McDonnell at the Left Field event at Glastonbury
Credit: 
PA

The Shadow Chancellor argued that a combination of underinvestment in social housing and cuts to the fire service contributed to the disaster, which is known to have killed at least 79 people.

The Government announced yesterday that cladding on some 60 high rise buildings in England had failed safety tests.

Grenfell Tower survivors first in line for discretionary housing payments

Seven tower blocks found to have combustible cladding after Grenfell disaster

Downing Street reveals 600 high rise flats have similar cladding to Grenfell Tower

Hundreds of residents have been moved from tower blocks in the London borough of Camden over the weekend, after concerns were raised over cladding, gas insulation and fire doors. 

Speaking at Glastonbury festival yesterday, Mr McDonnell characterised the Grenfell fire as a failure of democracy.

"Is democracy working? It didn't work if you were a family living on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower," he told an event hosted by the Guardian.

"Those families, those individuals - 79 so far and there will be more - were murdered by political decisions that were taken over recent decades.

"The decision not to build homes and to view housing as only for financial speculation rather than for meeting a basic human need made by politicians over decades murdered those families.

"The decision to close fire stations and to cut 10,000 fire fighters and then to freeze their pay for over a decade contributed to those deaths inevitably, and they were political decisions."