Grenfell Tower fire: Theresa May snubs Jeremy Corbyn's call to seize private properties to house high-rise victims

Downing Street says: ‘We don’t support proposals to seize private property’

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Indy Politics

Downing Street has rejected Jeremy Corbyn’s call to seize private rental properties in order to give victims of the Grenfell fire a place to stay.

A spokeswoman indicated the Prime Minister is not considering Mr Corbyn’s plan, raised by the Labour leader as his response to the Grenfell tragedy was favourably compared with Theresa May’s.

The No 10 official said: “Look, we don’t support proposals to seize private property.

“Our focus is on rehousing people as quickly as possible, in the borough and the neighbouring borough, and that still stands.”

Pressed again she said: “We do not support the proposals to seize private property.”

The Labour leader made his call in the aftermath of last week’s devastating blaze, which has so far claimed the lives of 79 people.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Corbyn said: “The ward where this fire took place is, I think, the poorest ward in the whole country and properties must be found – requisitioned if necessary – to make sure those residents do get rehoused locally.”

The Labour leader, whose poll ratings have soared since the election, said it was not acceptable that there are “luxury flats left empty” while homeless people look for somewhere to live.

It came after he was pictured embracing a woman who was searching for a missing girl in the wake of the fire. By contrast, Ms May was severely criticised for failing to meet affected residents on a trip to the site.

The Prime Minister has pledged to find homes for those affected by the tragedy within three weeks.

Downing Street also said on Monday that a judge would be appointed to lead the public inquiry into the tragedy “very soon”.

“The Prime Minister is very aware that people want answers promptly and we want to get this going promptly,” said the spokeswoman.