Grenfell tower survivors believe 'many more' people died than in current official death toll, Labour MP David Lammy says

Police say it will be difficult to determine the final number of victims, due to the nature of the blaze and the undocumented residents

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Sunday 02 July 2017 15:55 BST
Comments
The Labour MP called the inquiry judge ‘a white, upper middle class man who I suspect has never visited a tower block housing estate’
The Labour MP called the inquiry judge ‘a white, upper middle class man who I suspect has never visited a tower block housing estate’

Survivors of the Grenfell tower disaster believe the death toll will rise higher still once the full facts are known, a London Labour MP has said.

David Lammy said the most up-to-date view amongst the victims is that “many more lost their lives” than in the current official death toll of 80 people.

Authorities have been cautious about confirming deaths and have said the real death toll may not be known until next year because of undocumented people living in the buildings and the intensity of the blaze.

“The police have filled in a little bit of the information: we now know there are 23 homes; they don’t know how many people are in them, but we don’t even know who owned the home, leased the home, ran the home,” Mr Lammy told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge programme.

“So we know a little bit more, but we still don’t have a list of survivors. We’re still not able to subtract the list of survivors from the approximate number of people in the building.

“We know that 80 people have lost their lives but the view amongst the victims – I spoke to them yesterday – is that many more lost their lives.”

Mr Lammy, who represents a mostly diverse low-income community in Tottenham, said: “You have to get close to these people to understand the degree of trust and how badly they’ve been let down, and therefore I believe the way to deal with that is constant communication.”

However, he sated he does not not agree that shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s description of the tragedy as a “murder” was the right “language”, and that the possibly of “corporate manslaughter” was more likely.

The Labour MP criticised the judge who had been appointed to the inquiry as “a white, upper middle class man who I suspect has never visited a tower block housing estate and certainly hasn’t slept on the 20th floor of one”.

Responding to comments by Sir Martin Moore-Bick that the inquiry’s narrow scope might not satisfy all critics, Mr Lammy said he was “worried that he’s kicked off the inquiry, framing it in a small, tiny way”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in