Over three years after 72 people died in the Grenfell Tower Fire atrocity, Kensington’s Conservative MP Felicity Buchan voted last night against an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill that asked for urgent implementation of all the recommendations from the Phase One report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. We have all waited for what feels like an eternity for the Inquiry recommendations to become law and we are shocked and appalled at the behaviour of our Member of Parliament giving her vote in favour of crude delaying tactics.
Last year Felicity Buchan promised North Kensington residents she would ensure that these recommendations would be implemented as quickly as possible. Last night she had the chance to honour her promise but voted for further delay – to an unknown date sometime in the distant future. And if that were not enough, the whole Tory government reneged on the commitment in last year’s Queen’s Speech to ensure that an appalling Grenfell 2 atrocity could never happen again by enacting all the recommendations from the Public Inquiry.
The MP for Kensington voted to kick the recommendations into the long grass saying incredibly that the Labour amendment to the Fire Safety Bill risked delaying work to implement the Phase One recommendations! But it will take the Bill and the enacting regulations a year to become law. The Labour Opposition MPs in Parliament have urged the government to act urgently for three years to prevent a Grenfell 2 which is what they were doing last night, not politicising Grenfell as Felicity Buchan stupidly claimed.
Kensington and Chelsea Labour councillors ask RBKC Conservative councillors to disassociate themselves from the Kensington MPs action last night. Otherwise, the oft repeated Council commitment to prioritise the needs of the Survivors and the Bereaved Families will become a mockery. Telling them three years after their families and friends died in what has been described as an entirely preventable fire that they must wait until the government is ready to act sometime in the future is unacceptable. Felicity Buchan said Grenfell would be a priority when she was elected but she has failed the bereaved families and survivors at the first hurdle.
We look forward to seeing the response of our Conservative colleagues
Pat Mason, Councillor, Leader of the RBKC Labour Opposition Group