Grenfell Tower fire is 'corporate manslaughter' and arrests must be made, says MP David Lammy

'We should call it what it is, it's corporate manslaughter, that's what it is and there should be arrests made, frankly,' the Tottenham MP said

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 15 June 2017 10:09 BST
MP David Lammy says Grenfell Tower is 'corporate manslaughter', and that arrests should be made

Labour MP David Lammy has labelled the Grenfell Tower fire as “corporate manslaughter” and called for arrests to be made over the disaster.

The Tottenham MP described the fire as an “outrage”, stating: “This is the richest borough in our country treating its citizens in this way.

“We should call it what it is, it's corporate manslaughter, that's what it is and there should be arrests made, frankly," he added, without referring to any individuals specifically.

Mr Lammy, who was speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, also said he had heard nothing from family friend Khadija Saye, 24, since the fire. The photographer lived on the 20th floor of the Tower bloc with her mother, Mary Mendy.

“As the seconds pass we grow more sad and bleak every second,” he said.

He added: “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 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.

Grenfell Tower fire: How the community responded

“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.”

Speaking about his “dear friend”, Ms Saye, who worked for his artist wife for a number of years, Mr Lammy added that she was a “beautiful young woman with an amazing career ahead of her, wonderful artist, her work is on show in Venice at the moment, and we've heard nothing”.

Grenfell tower continues to smoulder

“We hope and pray that she is amongst them [in hospital] and not perished in that building as I suspect hundreds will have done by the end of this count.”

It is expected that Theresa May will visit the scene of the tragedy later on Thursday to speak with emergency services and ensure that they have the resources they need to deal with the situation.

There are still “unknown numbers” of bodies in the tower bloc following the inferno, London fire commissioner Dany Cotton said on Thursday. But at least 12 have already been confirmed dead after the fire ripped through the building in north Kensington, where the flames could still be seen burning more than a day after the disaster.

The commissioner told Sky News: “Tragically now we are not expecting to find anyone else alive. The severity and the heat of the fire would mean it is an absolute miracle for anyone to be left alive.”

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