Grenfell fire three years on: Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer pay tribute as virtual service held to remember victims

Labour leader says there has been ‘little justice or accountability’ since tragedy 

Rory Sullivan
Sunday 14 June 2020 15:54
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Keir Starmer says three years on from Grenfell fire there has been 'little justice or accountability'

Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer have paid tribute to the 72 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, as a virtual service marked the third anniversary of the tragedy.

The prime minister said the people of Britain stood with the Grenfell community “in spirit”, while Labour leader Sir Keir promised to do everything he could to stop such a tragedy from happening again.

Three years ago, the fire, which started in a kitchen in the building in west London, turned into the deadliest domestic blaze since the Second World War.

In a video message played during the virtual commemoration service on Sunday, Mr Johnson said: “As a nation, we are still dealing with the consequences of what happened and working to make sure it never happens again.”

“While those affected by Grenfell are not able to gather in person, all of us in this country are with you in spirit,” he added.

The opposition leader stressed that there has been “little justice or accountability” in the three years since the fire.

Sir Keir said: “In the midst of their suffering, the Grenfell community came together to campaign for justice, safe homes and change. Because no one should ever go through the loss and pain they experienced.

“But three years on and, unbelievably, tonight people will go to bed in unsafe homes.

“Three years on and there has been little justice or accountability. Three years on their campaign continues.”

Labour estimates that 56,000 people still live in homes which use the same flammable cladding as Grenfell.

Matt Wrack, the general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, marked the anniversary by warning the prime minister that the safety situation was “shocking”.

Mr Wrack said there was “a good chance that the next Grenfell will be outside London, in an area where fewer resources are mobilised to a fire, and the loss of life could be worse still”.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: “I know the bereaved, survivors, residents and wider community are understandably frustrated at the lack of meaningful change and they are fearful that a similar tragedy could happen again. I too share their concerns.”

London churches will toll their bells 72 times on Sunday to commemorate each life that was lost in the fire.

Additional reporting by PA

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