Theresa May labelled 'disgraceful' by firefighters' union for listing Grenfell response as part of proud legacy

FBU claims 'inquiry she launched has kicked scrutiny of corporate and government interests into long grass'

Jon Sharman
Friday 24 May 2019 14:56 BST
Theresa May's full speech as she announces her resignation

Theresa May has been labelled “disgraceful” by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) for citing her response the Grenfell fire disaster as a proud part of her legacy.

During her emotional resignation speech the outgoing prime minister said the office had given her a “platform to give a voice to the voiceless, to fight the burning injustices that still scar our society”.

She added: “[That] it is why I set up the independent inquiry into the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, to search for the truth so nothing like it can ever happen again, and so the people who lost their lives that night are never forgotten.”

But rank-and-file firefighters reacted with fury.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said in a statement: “Many of the underlying issues at Grenfell were due to unsafe conditions that had been allowed to fester under Tory governments and a council for which Theresa May bears ultimate responsibility.

“The inquiry she launched has kicked scrutiny of corporate and government interests into the long-grass, denying families and survivors justice, while allowing business as usual to continue for the wealthy.

“For the outgoing prime minister to suggest that her awful response to Grenfell is a proud part of her legacy is, frankly, disgraceful.”

Ms May’s impending departure has triggered a race for the Conservative leadership, with the party pledging to install a new prime minister by the end of July.

She will officially step down as leader on 7 June – following Donald Trump‘s state visit to the UK – but remain as PM until the new top Tory is elected.

Her announcement on Friday morning came after days of pressure on her to quit. She had angered MPs by attempting to bring back her withdrawal deal for a fourth Commons vote.

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