12/07/2017 House of Commons


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


12/07/2017

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including a general debate on the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 12/07/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

statement... Abby honourable gentleman for Ealing North has

:00:00.:00:00.

forged new alliance with a member of the SNP. I do not know who should be

:00:00.:00:11.

more afraid! The statement the Secretary of State for International

:00:12.:00:14.

Development, Secretary Priti Patel. Thank you. With permission, I would

:00:15.:00:19.

like to update the house or my departments continued support for

:00:20.:00:23.

the people of Mosul. The Prime Minister of Iraq called for the

:00:24.:00:29.

Mosul to be liberated after the city fell to Daesh. This comes after a

:00:30.:00:37.

manageable oppression by Daesh. Fear of execution, abductions, forced

:00:38.:00:41.

marriages, destruction of the city, it comes after nine months of heavy

:00:42.:00:47.

fighting for the Iraqi security forces who faced brutal Daesh

:00:48.:00:51.

tactics including the use of human shields and suicide bombers. My

:00:52.:00:55.

honourable friend will provide the house with a more detailed update

:00:56.:00:59.

tomorrow on the ongoing military campaign in Iraq and Syria and the

:01:00.:01:03.

UK role in the effort. The declaration that Mosul is free again

:01:04.:01:08.

is a great victory for the people of Iraq and a great stride forward for

:01:09.:01:12.

global security. I'm sure that the house will help me commend the

:01:13.:01:17.

extraordinary bravery of the Iraq forces to put the protection of

:01:18.:01:21.

civilians at the heart of their military campaign acting to reduce

:01:22.:01:24.

civilian casualties where they could and risking their lives to evacuate

:01:25.:01:29.

civilians avoiding the bullets of the Daesh fighters. We should

:01:30.:01:33.

recognise the professionalism, their sacrifice and they have been backed

:01:34.:01:37.

up by the international coalition forces including the IRS who have

:01:38.:01:44.

taken all reasonable precautions during the planning and execution of

:01:45.:01:47.

air strikes to reduce the risk of civilian lives.

:01:48.:01:49.

We should also write -- we should also recognise the bravery of the

:01:50.:01:55.

people of Mosul, the people who have been out -- the children who have

:01:56.:01:59.

been out of school and who are now back in the classroom. Doctors are

:02:00.:02:06.

giving life-saving treatment once again to their fellow citizens,

:02:07.:02:09.

volunteers are clearing the rubble from the streets and public

:02:10.:02:12.

buildings. We must, though, be realistic about the challenges

:02:13.:02:18.

ahead. Almost 50,000 homes have been destroyed, although 200,000 people

:02:19.:02:22.

have returned to their homes in eastern Mosul, over 7000 people are

:02:23.:02:29.

still displaced. Explosive remnants of this war would be a problem for

:02:30.:02:35.

many months to come. After winning the battle for Mosul, it is

:02:36.:02:38.

important to win the peace, and now begins that painstaking task of

:02:39.:02:46.

rebuilding and reconciling, so that communities can live peacefully

:02:47.:02:49.

alongside one another once more, and citizens can start to rebuild their

:02:50.:02:59.

lives. As a global humanitarian leader, the United Kingdom has been

:03:00.:03:04.

at the forefront of the efforts to support the humanitarian response,

:03:05.:03:07.

and will continue to stand alongside the people of Iraq in the months

:03:08.:03:13.

ahead. From the start of the Mosul operations, the UK has provided

:03:14.:03:17.

shelter, military and -- medical care and food to those who have lost

:03:18.:03:21.

their homes through the fighting or who have been forced to flee. The

:03:22.:03:27.

UK's the largest donor to the Iraq humanitarian fund, and we are

:03:28.:03:31.

providing practical, life-saving support including water in camps for

:03:32.:03:38.

over 166,000 displaced people, cash assistance to over 50,000 vulnerable

:03:39.:03:42.

people, and life-saving health care including a trauma hospital to treat

:03:43.:03:47.

the victims of the fight against Daesh. Today, Mr Speaker, I can

:03:48.:03:53.

confirm that the UK will provide ?40 million of humanitarian funding this

:03:54.:03:57.

year, taking our total commitment just in Iraq to ?209 million since

:03:58.:04:05.

2014. This funding will help to ensure that the displaced

:04:06.:04:09.

communities, the displaced people, will receive the much needed

:04:10.:04:12.

shelter, food and medical support, and will provide protection for the

:04:13.:04:20.

most vulnerable. ?80 million of this funding has already been allocated

:04:21.:04:24.

to partners who are working hard to deliver assistance around Mosul. The

:04:25.:04:28.

United Nations has also said funding requirements for Iraq in 2017, at

:04:29.:04:36.

$984 million. The UK is stepping up, and I continue to call upon my

:04:37.:04:41.

colleagues in the international development community, the donors,

:04:42.:04:45.

to follow Britain's lead. They are stashed community must continue to

:04:46.:04:47.

support the people of Mosul and Iraq. As people return home, they

:04:48.:04:54.

will need support to rebuild their lives. Humanitarian partners are

:04:55.:04:59.

helping to re-establish basic services including carrying out food

:05:00.:05:04.

distribution in areas where markets are not yet functioning, and provide

:05:05.:05:07.

cash assistance so that vulnerable people can buy what they most need.

:05:08.:05:13.

And in East Mosul, DFID's humanitarian funding, and Unicef,

:05:14.:05:22.

has already helped to reopen health facilities and provide clean water

:05:23.:05:25.

in the liberated areas, which is essential for people to be able to

:05:26.:05:31.

return home. DFID will also provide ?6 million this year for the

:05:32.:05:35.

stabilisation efforts, helping to restore basic services and

:05:36.:05:39.

infrastructure in the liberated areas including in Mosul, and

:05:40.:05:45.

through UN DUP, funding has already helped to rehabilitate the water

:05:46.:05:53.

plant in eastern Mosul, and over 750 schools have already reopened, and

:05:54.:05:58.

about 300,000 children to sit exams. Our funding will also support local

:05:59.:06:02.

reconciliation, helping displaced people to reintegrate back into

:06:03.:06:06.

their communities when they return home. Across Iraq, over 1 million

:06:07.:06:11.

people have returned to their homes, in areas where UK funded

:06:12.:06:17.

stabilisation projects are working. But ultimately, Mr Speaker, to win

:06:18.:06:20.

peace in Iraq, the Government will need to unite all Iraqis against

:06:21.:06:24.

extremism. And address the grievances that led to Daesh's rise,

:06:25.:06:31.

and persuade all Iraqi communities that they have a fair stake in their

:06:32.:06:35.

nation's future. The UK will continue to be steadfast in their

:06:36.:06:40.

support to the Government of Iraq's efforts to drive forward reform,

:06:41.:06:45.

reconciliation and stabilisation. In conclusion, this week's victory

:06:46.:06:49.

against Daesh in Mosul marks an important moment in the campaign to

:06:50.:06:54.

defeat this terror group, and the poisonous ideology, and we will join

:06:55.:07:00.

our Iraqi friends in celebrating the liberalisation of this historic

:07:01.:07:06.

city. The UK will continue to provide humanitarian and

:07:07.:07:10.

stabilisation assistance, and also to support the Government of Iraq's

:07:11.:07:16.

efforts to build is -- stable, secure and more prosperous Iraq. I

:07:17.:07:24.

welcome the Secretary of State's statement, and are particularly

:07:25.:07:25.

welcomed the news of Mosul's liberation after three years. It is

:07:26.:07:34.

important to defeat Daesh's violent ideology. I would like to pay

:07:35.:07:38.

tribute to the Iraqi security forces and to the people of Mosul, who has

:07:39.:07:44.

shown remarkable courage in the face of Daesh's continued oppression. I

:07:45.:07:48.

would like to also pay particular tribute to the role of the UK

:07:49.:07:52.

Government in its important work to provide critical aid and emergency

:07:53.:07:57.

support. The UK's continued role here in the coming days and weeks,

:07:58.:08:03.

and the secured -- significant funding commitments announced by the

:08:04.:08:07.

Secretary of State, will save lives and help rebuild Mosul. And I

:08:08.:08:11.

welcome them. This commitment also represents the important role UK aid

:08:12.:08:16.

plays not only in standing alongside the people of Iraq, but also in

:08:17.:08:19.

contributing to long-term peace and stability. I would like now to ask

:08:20.:08:26.

the Secretary of State a series of questions about her announcement.

:08:27.:08:32.

First, it is clear that although there is cause for real celebration

:08:33.:08:37.

in the liberalisation of Mosul, Amnesty International have

:08:38.:08:40.

identified countless human rights violations on all sides. Both by

:08:41.:08:43.

Daesh and possibly by the Iraqi forces. These include the use of

:08:44.:08:54.

civilians as human shields by Daesh fighters, and violation against

:08:55.:08:58.

children's rights. Amnesty have called for a thorough investigation

:08:59.:09:02.

of all human rights violations, and possible war crimes carried out

:09:03.:09:08.

through the liberalisation of Mosul. While the UN human rights chief has

:09:09.:09:13.

called for a strong culture of accountability now that the city has

:09:14.:09:17.

been liberated, that the Secretary of State support these calls, and

:09:18.:09:23.

can she tell us how we can help? Secondly, Mr Speaker, while I

:09:24.:09:29.

welcome the UK Government's aid response, the false displacement of

:09:30.:09:33.

numerous refugees in and around Mosul as a result of the past two

:09:34.:09:38.

years of Daesh occupation requires widespread action, not only on the

:09:39.:09:42.

building but also on the resettlement of all those displaced.

:09:43.:09:45.

When can the Government update us on how we can help those who have been

:09:46.:09:52.

displaced? I would like to end by saying I thank the Secretary of

:09:53.:09:55.

State again, and I welcome the statement to the House. I thank the

:09:56.:10:01.

honourable lady for her generous comments and her support with

:10:02.:10:05.

regards to what has now been achieved in Mosul in particular, and

:10:06.:10:09.

I agreed that we should all of this moment pay tribute to all the forces

:10:10.:10:14.

involved in this but also the people who have suffered content --

:10:15.:10:18.

considerably at the hands of Daesh. The honourable lady's right to point

:10:19.:10:23.

to the report today, to Amnesty's report, alleging that Iraqi forces

:10:24.:10:29.

and the human rights violations and concerns. And of course I think it

:10:30.:10:33.

is important to stress that the security forces and the Coalition

:10:34.:10:37.

have made every effort during efforts aspect operations to protect

:10:38.:10:41.

civilians. There is no doubt that now that we are hearing from -- of

:10:42.:10:47.

alleged violations, quite rightly the state to be thoroughly

:10:48.:10:49.

investigated, and those found responsible must be held to account.

:10:50.:10:56.

We also welcome the previous statement and encourage reporting on

:10:57.:11:01.

the outcome is to follow. The honourable lady raised the issue of

:11:02.:11:05.

displacement of people. Hundreds of thousands of people have been

:11:06.:11:09.

affected by what has happened in Mosul and Iraq more broadly. The

:11:10.:11:14.

focus now has to be on the resettlement, and the reunification

:11:15.:11:19.

of the country as a whole. The honourable lady will have heard me

:11:20.:11:23.

speak briefly of the efforts on stabilisation, and that has to be

:11:24.:11:29.

the focus right now. And UK aid, my department in particular, are

:11:30.:11:32.

working with my honourable friend, the Secretary of State for defence,

:11:33.:11:38.

and others across Government and the international community, yes, to

:11:39.:11:39.

provide support on UN stabilisation efforts in Iraq, securing liberated

:11:40.:11:48.

areas, securing areas of explosives and making them habitable over

:11:49.:11:53.

again, but importantly providing the basics, putting in water, power,

:11:54.:11:58.

clinics and schools, and ensuring that since we know that since 2015

:11:59.:12:03.

1.8 million people have been displaced in Iraq, and have returned

:12:04.:12:08.

to their homes were possible, that we focus on the resettlement and the

:12:09.:12:11.

stabilisation and how we can bring back the prosperity and

:12:12.:12:16.

stabilisation back to Mosul and the outlying areas in Iraq as well.

:12:17.:12:24.

Mosul was home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the region,

:12:25.:12:27.

but religious minorities suffered dreadfully at the heart -- at the

:12:28.:12:33.

hands of IS. What can DFID do to ensure that such my sorrow that

:12:34.:12:37.

minorities are able to return to the place of their origins? -- to ensure

:12:38.:12:42.

that minorities are able to return. I thank the honourable lady for

:12:43.:12:50.

raising this issue. We now what has happened in the past, particularly

:12:51.:12:54.

for Christian communities and others, has been a pollen, and we

:12:55.:12:59.

are now focused on, yes, stabilisation, but ensuring that

:13:00.:13:04.

Iraq as a whole can be rebuilt on the unified. -- has been abhorrent.

:13:05.:13:09.

So that all communities can feel they can contribute to a new Iraq,

:13:10.:13:17.

posted the conflict. We very much welcome the military defeat of DFID

:13:18.:13:22.

-- Daesh. But in order for the victory to be complete, it is

:13:23.:13:25.

imperative to address the humanitarian needs of the people in

:13:26.:13:30.

the city and the surrounding region. Amnesty International have described

:13:31.:13:32.

the horrors that the people in Mosul have witnessed, and the disregard

:13:33.:13:39.

for human life by all parties in this conflict. Entire families have

:13:40.:13:45.

been wiped out. The people of Mosul defends -- deserve to know there

:13:46.:13:48.

will be justice in reparation, so the harrowing impact of this

:13:49.:13:52.

operation is fully addressed. UK Government must finally learn the

:13:53.:13:56.

lessons from Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. It cannot be allowed to

:13:57.:14:01.

happen in Mosul as it has done in many places before, but the cost and

:14:02.:14:06.

impact of UK military action towards the relief and reconstruction

:14:07.:14:10.

efforts to follow. How is the Government working with civil

:14:11.:14:13.

society on the ground to alleviate the suffering in refugee camps,

:14:14.:14:16.

which lacks sufficient food, water and electricity to survive the

:14:17.:14:21.

scorching desert heat 's? And brother Government support

:14:22.:14:26.

specifically the creation of an independent Commission, as

:14:27.:14:28.

recommended by Amnesty International, to investigate the

:14:29.:14:33.

killings by civilians -- the killings of civilians by all sides

:14:34.:14:36.

in this conflict, as well as air strikes carried out by the UK? I

:14:37.:14:42.

would like to say again the comments I made to the honourable lady

:14:43.:14:45.

earlier with regards to the Amnesty International report. Yet read the

:14:46.:14:50.

comments I made up of the violations that may have taken place, and the

:14:51.:14:54.

need to have investigations. It is right and proper that all attention

:14:55.:14:59.

is given to them, and that the -- and that people are brought to

:15:00.:15:06.

justice. But I think we must also recognise there have been horrific

:15:07.:15:09.

attacks across the whole of Iraq, because of pointless ideology of --

:15:10.:15:17.

the poisonous ideology of Daesh. The conduct of Daesh on the atrocities

:15:18.:15:21.

that have taken place but slightly unforgivable and they will sky

:15:22.:15:28.

generations to come. -- are totally unforgivable. When many people have

:15:29.:15:32.

worked to liberate Mosul, in particular Coalition forces and the

:15:33.:15:38.

Iraqi security forces, our priority is absolutely through UK aid to

:15:39.:15:41.

ensure that we continue in the humanitarian support that we provide

:15:42.:15:46.

to those who have been displaced, to support the stabilisation efforts,

:15:47.:15:50.

and of course that is the focus of much of the British Government, but

:15:51.:15:54.

all our partners internationally, including the UN, and we will

:15:55.:15:57.

continue to stand up for those who have been displaced, and importantly

:15:58.:16:03.

no work to bring peace and stability to Iraq. -- and importantly no work.

:16:04.:16:08.

I welcome the tone and the extra spot these people in Mosul. With the

:16:09.:16:16.

experience of others to be followed in Mosul, detectives of Daesh would

:16:17.:16:19.

be that every public place will be be be trapped with minds and it will

:16:20.:16:25.

take many years to clear that. Well she committed the Government to do

:16:26.:16:30.

all she can to help with the technical matter of removing

:16:31.:16:33.

explosives. It is not the scorching heat that we worry about today, it

:16:34.:16:37.

is the co-author of the Mosul winter we worry about coming in 34 months'

:16:38.:16:41.

time, in which Tammy need to find decent accommodation. My honourable

:16:42.:16:47.

friend is right and I referred in my statement to the fact that we will

:16:48.:16:53.

spend a great deal of time and resources in rebuilding Mosul but

:16:54.:16:57.

also Iraq as a hole through the stabilisation approach that we will

:16:58.:17:00.

put forward. But there is no doubt in terms of the fact that we will

:17:01.:17:06.

have to invest to reclaim land, the mine huge phrase of the country and

:17:07.:17:11.

then we announced a substantial commitment to our de-mining assets

:17:12.:17:15.

in countries that have been unstable through conflict. It is also

:17:16.:17:20.

registered a that as we move into the latter part of the year that the

:17:21.:17:23.

weather conditions will change, they will become harsher and we were all

:17:24.:17:29.

within the international committee have to step up our efforts and

:17:30.:17:33.

focus our resources on those that will be in need during the harsh

:17:34.:17:37.

winter that will follow. We will need to rebuild put houses in and

:17:38.:17:41.

build infrastructure sooner rather than later. I welcome the Secretary

:17:42.:17:46.

of State's statement and the additional humanitarian assistance

:17:47.:17:48.

that she has announced and what she has said about the mining. Many

:17:49.:17:53.

people in Mosul when they return will be deeply traumatised what will

:17:54.:17:58.

the Government be doing to ensure the mental health care is supported

:17:59.:18:03.

when they do return? I thank the honourable gentleman for his

:18:04.:18:07.

question. He is right you think about the trauma of the

:18:08.:18:12.

psychological trauma, physical trauma as well of course in

:18:13.:18:16.

recovering and rebuilding after what has happened across Iraq and in

:18:17.:18:21.

Mosul in particular. I spoke about the fact we will need to

:18:22.:18:26.

rehabilitate the country at every single level and the destruction

:18:27.:18:30.

side, schools, but also health centres as well and working with our

:18:31.:18:34.

colleagues and counterparts internationally within the health

:18:35.:18:38.

community as well, to ensure the medical assistance and support and

:18:39.:18:42.

expertise of those that can provide the help to those people that will

:18:43.:18:45.

need the kind of support we have just touched on is absolutely vital.

:18:46.:18:53.

The people in the area that wish to return to Mosul have been

:18:54.:18:58.

traumatised as we heard from many of the many people speaking to day. The

:18:59.:19:02.

ones who stayed in the area want to go home, but there are very few

:19:03.:19:06.

homes to go home too. Could my honourable friend explain what we

:19:07.:19:11.

are doing in this country to help the infrastructure and put a roof

:19:12.:19:16.

over people's heads, but is she also encouraging other countries to

:19:17.:19:19.

support the people of the area at the same time? I thank my honourable

:19:20.:19:24.

friend for her question and she is right to point to the immediate need

:19:25.:19:32.

that is required for the people, the dispose people, over 1.8 million

:19:33.:19:35.

people who have returned to their homes and we are working with the

:19:36.:19:39.

Iraqi Government on stabilisation and also in areas where the U and

:19:40.:19:44.

stability programme is working. We are working in conjunction with them

:19:45.:19:53.

to provide the necessary and important infrastructure, power

:19:54.:19:56.

networks, schools, but also homes because of the level of destruction

:19:57.:20:01.

that has taken place, which is incomprehensible to us here. The

:20:02.:20:07.

vast swathes of land and homes that were deliberately destroyed by Daesh

:20:08.:20:11.

it is our response by to work with our partners to rebuild and rehouse

:20:12.:20:15.

the many millions who have been displaced. I very much welcome the

:20:16.:20:25.

Secretary of State's statement. Tens of thousands of children have been

:20:26.:20:30.

without education in Mosul for many years so it is good you news that

:20:31.:20:35.

750 schools have reopened, but what work is being done to help schools

:20:36.:20:40.

be able to tackle the very particular sensitive challenge of

:20:41.:20:43.

helping older children, teenagers and young adults to plug the gap,

:20:44.:20:48.

the significant gap in their education and prevent a lost

:20:49.:20:52.

generation? My honourable friend is right to speak about the lost

:20:53.:20:58.

generation and this is an issue the whole region in terms of Syria,

:20:59.:21:03.

Iraq, the level of displacement we have seen of children has been

:21:04.:21:08.

horrific, and the number of children that have lost their education, been

:21:09.:21:11.

out of school for several years because of the level of conflict

:21:12.:21:15.

that has taken place, she will know that the United Kingdom is an

:21:16.:21:19.

enormous supporter, big funder of the education cannot wait programme

:21:20.:21:25.

which suckers on this on areas of conflict and on host communities as

:21:26.:21:30.

well. Jordan and Lebanon in one example in the Syrian region where

:21:31.:21:34.

we are providing resources to bring a double shift system of education.

:21:35.:21:41.

Mentioning all the children, it is important but through the funding

:21:42.:21:43.

and the partners that we work with that they are providing education

:21:44.:21:49.

and they are. But it is more than education but also technical and

:21:50.:21:52.

vocational training opportunities through the funding that we are

:21:53.:21:55.

giving to those governments in particular. A competition amongst

:21:56.:22:08.

others in colleagues in cream suits! Obviously a man of taste! Can the

:22:09.:22:14.

Government has previously acknowledged that the cutting of the

:22:15.:22:20.

food coupon in the Syrian refugee camps light to the mass exodus

:22:21.:22:26.

thereafter. Acknowledging the proud track record in human tearing aid,

:22:27.:22:32.

will the honourable friend make it clear to the house that the

:22:33.:22:35.

international community must step up to the plate when it comes to the

:22:36.:22:38.

funding of any temporary arrangements with regards to the

:22:39.:22:41.

displaced people and we've learned those lessons? My honourable friend

:22:42.:22:47.

is right to raise this issue and one of the things in terms of lessons

:22:48.:22:52.

learned and being learned is about the increment a share in the lot of

:22:53.:22:57.

the programming of those in crisis and its humanitarian situations when

:22:58.:23:00.

it comes to food provision, water and other essentials as well. We

:23:01.:23:06.

have through the wake taking place many lessons have been learned and

:23:07.:23:11.

organisations, partner organisations on the ground delivering services

:23:12.:23:14.

and provisions are working collectively together in a way in

:23:15.:23:20.

which she refers to in 2013 they were not working together to bring

:23:21.:23:23.

the vital aid and food distribution that needed it. Can I congratulate

:23:24.:23:34.

the Secretary of State for what I thought was a very measured and

:23:35.:23:37.

comprehensive statement on the situation. I have a friend in

:23:38.:23:44.

Baghdad who was an MP in Mosul. She was also the Culture Secretary. And

:23:45.:23:52.

so, for her, the devastation of a historically very important city

:23:53.:23:57.

will have been pretty awful. I'm glad to say that the Secretary of

:23:58.:24:03.

State is focusing on the humanitarian needs right away

:24:04.:24:10.

because as honourable members have said, the dramatisation,

:24:11.:24:13.

particularly of children in the area needs to be looked at right away.

:24:14.:24:23.

Can I just mention, you talked about the importance of peace. We all want

:24:24.:24:30.

to see peace in the region, I congratulate the Prime Minister of

:24:31.:24:34.

Iraq for hopefully getting rid of Daesh from a Mosul. But then, in

:24:35.:24:41.

Kurdistan, which is in the bottom part of the country -- an important

:24:42.:24:48.

part, would you agree to is important that the Parliament of

:24:49.:24:53.

Kurdistan, which has not met for a radio, should meet as soon as

:24:54.:24:58.

possible? I thank the honourable lady for her remarks and her

:24:59.:25:02.

thoughtful observations as well in terms of how we need to work

:25:03.:25:07.

together to bring peace and stability to Iraq, but also to the

:25:08.:25:11.

region. This is not one thing that one country can do on it so and this

:25:12.:25:16.

is where the international community can provide guidance, support and

:25:17.:25:20.

assistance and in particular help with getting the democracy

:25:21.:25:24.

functioning again, which would be the ultimate symbol of beating Daesh

:25:25.:25:28.

and the poisonous ideology that they have been propagating across the

:25:29.:25:32.

region. She is right to highlight the fact that stabilisation, peace

:25:33.:25:38.

and democracy in the functioning democracy should return again. This

:25:39.:25:44.

is of course a long-term objective, one that we know will be difficult

:25:45.:25:49.

because of the level of conflict and instability, but also the level of

:25:50.:25:53.

destruction and displacement that we had seen. Our focus is the immediate

:25:54.:25:59.

focus and that is putting people first, children first and rebuilding

:26:00.:26:02.

the country in the best way that we can through the international

:26:03.:26:08.

coalition. I do not want the honourable gentleman to feel left

:26:09.:26:11.

out! Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I have proudly stood on the

:26:12.:26:18.

manifesto in all of my elections of supporting the international aid and

:26:19.:26:23.

many criticise that, but would honourable lady agree with me that

:26:24.:26:28.

it is not just morally right that we can invest in the country of Iraq

:26:29.:26:33.

because the situation with Daesh in Mosul, that was through the

:26:34.:26:36.

residents being worried about divisions in the Baghdad Government

:26:37.:26:42.

and it is investment through this country that we make sure that we

:26:43.:26:46.

can prevent this happens again. I thank my honourable friend for his

:26:47.:26:52.

question. Again, for we stating the importance of UK aid and our

:26:53.:26:57.

commitment to the world's poorest. I think through the work we have been

:26:58.:27:04.

undertaking through humanitarian support, urgent support which has

:27:05.:27:08.

been there for a number of years now, but looking ahead to the

:27:09.:27:13.

stabilisation that we will work to achieve, collectively within the

:27:14.:27:16.

international development community, we can see UK agent just make a

:27:17.:27:21.

difference of the people but also bring peace and stability in a way

:27:22.:27:27.

we would all expect our aid budget but our influence globally through

:27:28.:27:29.

our aid Brigid to bring to a country such as Iraq. Following the comments

:27:30.:27:35.

of the Scottish Nationalists spokesman, is not the difference

:27:36.:27:39.

between the British and coalition forces and Daesh is we go out of our

:27:40.:27:44.

way to minimise civilian casualties and temperament is exactly the

:27:45.:27:50.

moment. One of our colleagues is being threatened for her favourite

:27:51.:27:54.

in her action against Daesh to we not need to send out from a message

:27:55.:27:59.

in this house that he was out right to take the decisions we did, to

:28:00.:28:03.

take military actions against Daesh one of those in Iraq and in Syria?

:28:04.:28:07.

The honourable gentleman is absolutely right that we not only

:28:08.:28:12.

did the right thing but we will continue to do the right thing,

:28:13.:28:15.

standing up to these poisonous ideologies and the conduct of these

:28:16.:28:26.

awful groups around the world. But also the fighters, the people who

:28:27.:28:30.

fought Daesh as well, and he is right in his comments. Sexual

:28:31.:28:38.

violence is one of the consistent horrors of war both conventional and

:28:39.:28:42.

unconventional, it is a deliberate act, a recognisable but repugnant

:28:43.:28:49.

tactic to shatter the cohesion of people as well as being grotesque

:28:50.:28:54.

examples of individual human rights abuses. Will the Secretary of State

:28:55.:28:58.

assures macro that she will look at how DFID will mitigate this vile

:28:59.:29:05.

form of violence and support the fragile and damaged communities?

:29:06.:29:10.

Moreover, will she say what how we can deter the oppressors to using

:29:11.:29:18.

this form of violence in future violence? He mentions the abhorrent

:29:19.:29:23.

sexual violence against women, girls and particularly the use Ely

:29:24.:29:30.

community as well. We have called up for those and given any voice to

:29:31.:29:36.

those being subject to attacks because of Daesh I think in areas of

:29:37.:29:42.

conflict in particular, it is women and girls who suffer through such

:29:43.:29:47.

atrocious acts of violence and atrocities and we will continue to

:29:48.:29:51.

stand up for them through working with our partners, the United

:29:52.:29:55.

Nations, but also other partners and I think importantly, to answer this

:29:56.:29:59.

question on what else we will do, we will follow through the prosecutions

:30:00.:30:03.

of those that are responsible for this, we will hold them to account.

:30:04.:30:10.

I visited the outskirts of Mosul last October during the conflict and

:30:11.:30:16.

met counterterrorism personnel. I also visited six camps of refugees

:30:17.:30:22.

and IDP 's Saudi huge humanitarian operation which I was very impressed

:30:23.:30:27.

by. I also noted on the radio this morning the deputy commander of

:30:28.:30:33.

coalition forces said that everything had been done to protect

:30:34.:30:37.

citizens, but he went on to describe amnesty's report as naive and

:30:38.:30:41.

reckless. This is in the week that the Saudi Arabia arms sale report

:30:42.:30:48.

was... Can I say, we are interested in the context of the Amnesty

:30:49.:30:51.

report, but there is in no need for a verbatim with vegetation of the

:30:52.:30:56.

contents. Progress has been laminated least slow, but much more

:30:57.:31:01.

widely, not just that of the gentleman. I'm sure the honourable

:31:02.:31:09.

gentleman is reaching his end. We need a new democratic settlement in

:31:10.:31:14.

the province. What is her department doing, and what is our ambassador

:31:15.:31:18.

doing to make sure we include minorities in that settlement?

:31:19.:31:29.

The Coalition forces have made an effort -- every effort to protect

:31:30.:31:35.

civilians, but we're working on stabilisation with all partners to

:31:36.:31:47.

support and rebuild Mosul. I pay tribute to the Iraqi security forces

:31:48.:31:51.

and indeed the British Armed Forces for their work. Could the Secretary

:31:52.:31:55.

of State say what is the situation with another humanitarian threat to

:31:56.:31:59.

the people of Mosul, which is the Mosul Dam which is an incredibly

:32:00.:32:04.

dangerous condition and threatens the city of Mosul, being upstream

:32:05.:32:12.

from it? It is a situation where we are working to put all of it in in

:32:13.:32:16.

terms of the support that is required in that particular area. We

:32:17.:32:20.

will continue to do that, and it is an ongoing situation so we are

:32:21.:32:24.

obviously being very active in the support we can give. Last November I

:32:25.:32:31.

raised a point of the thousands of women and children who were being

:32:32.:32:36.

held in slavery by Daesh in Mosul. I asked the Government if they would

:32:37.:32:41.

seek to provide specialist psychological care once the

:32:42.:32:44.

liberalisation of Mosul had been complete. Could the Minister tell

:32:45.:32:48.

me, never Daesh have been driven from the city, what plans the

:32:49.:32:55.

Government have in place to deal with the specific psychological and

:32:56.:32:58.

physical needs and the winds of one of the most wickedly abused

:32:59.:33:01.

communities on this planet? -- the wounds. I refer to the comment I

:33:02.:33:09.

made earlier on about the support we are providing. Health in terms of

:33:10.:33:15.

medical but also mental and psychological support, it is

:33:16.:33:17.

essential after the abhorrent nature of this conflict. Whilst welcoming

:33:18.:33:25.

the resources the Government are making available for the relief of

:33:26.:33:30.

the suffering from the conflict, can she ensure that the international

:33:31.:33:33.

community at no stage is going to lose focus on the politics of the

:33:34.:33:37.

settlement among Mosul, make sure we are not going to have the continued

:33:38.:33:41.

institutionalised marginalisation of the complex number of communities

:33:42.:33:46.

around Mosul, and they all have a stake in the future. My friend is

:33:47.:33:53.

right to speak about the political stabilisation, and inclusivity as

:33:54.:33:56.

well in terms of the rebuilding that needs to happen. And we will

:33:57.:33:59.

continue to work with the Prime Minister and the Government as well

:34:00.:34:08.

in Iraq to ensure this happens. The tributes the Secretary of State have

:34:09.:34:14.

made my right, and the ambition is commendable. But the question is how

:34:15.:34:20.

is this going to be achieved? People talk facile me about learning the

:34:21.:34:24.

lessons from Iraq, but is it not an example of the correct -- collective

:34:25.:34:30.

failure to reach construct but culture that -- reconstruct that

:34:31.:34:39.

culture that many Sunni families sought to seek Daesh as they were

:34:40.:34:41.

dumped rather than the marauding killers they were? What role with

:34:42.:34:51.

the UK Government play? We will play our part in every single way that is

:34:52.:34:56.

necessary, because there are no easy solutions to rebuilding a country,

:34:57.:35:00.

and also making a country of relational and functional again

:35:01.:35:05.

after such an abhorrent and appalling conflict. So we will

:35:06.:35:10.

continue to support the Iraqi Government, obviously in the

:35:11.:35:14.

response that is required but also in that inclusivity, getting the

:35:15.:35:17.

politics and security right and getting the stabilisation right.

:35:18.:35:25.

Does my right honourable friend agree that reconstruction depends

:35:26.:35:29.

crucially on removing the mines and booby traps? And is she satisfied

:35:30.:35:35.

that there are adequate capacity there and enough money allocated to

:35:36.:35:39.

deal with this task speedily, and is there any timetable? Well, again,

:35:40.:35:47.

this is a vital area in terms of clearing the mines and the IUDs, and

:35:48.:35:51.

the support we will provide, so first of all the British Government

:35:52.:35:55.

has provided specific support, and we will be working through the

:35:56.:36:00.

various funds in Government but also supporting the mine action service

:36:01.:36:04.

as well on this, but this is not an easy task at all because of what has

:36:05.:36:09.

happened. The level of destruction in Iraq has been atrocious, so yes,

:36:10.:36:13.

I work is cut out but we will give all the necessary support to ensure

:36:14.:36:17.

that mines are cleared and land is returned back to the use in needs to

:36:18.:36:25.

receive. The liberalisation of Mosul is undoubtedly a very significant

:36:26.:36:30.

step in the defeat of this evil terror. But does the Secretary of

:36:31.:36:34.

State agree that it is just as important now that we make sure that

:36:35.:36:40.

the rebuilding of communities and the deradicalisation of this

:36:41.:36:45.

communities is just as important in that defeat? It is absolutely right,

:36:46.:36:50.

deradicalisation has to be a future of the stabilisation approach, and

:36:51.:36:54.

the rebuilding, but also bringing back together those communities that

:36:55.:36:57.

have become so divided and fractions. Once again, Britain will

:36:58.:37:01.

lead the way on this and provide all the necessary support to the Iraqi

:37:02.:37:06.

Government in doing our bit to bring that stability and peace to the

:37:07.:37:11.

country. The atrocities of Daesh have failed to deliver a so-called

:37:12.:37:16.

caliphate. My right honourable friend rightly recognises the role

:37:17.:37:22.

of the Iraqi forces, but can she also recognise the role of the

:37:23.:37:26.

female fighters and share what work has been done to ensure their work

:37:27.:37:31.

despite their voices heard during the construction? First of all, the

:37:32.:37:39.

point of reconstruction has been a hard fought battle. All -- the

:37:40.:37:48.

stabilisation will have to take place, but the focus has to be on

:37:49.:37:53.

bringing together the minority groups of all communities that have

:37:54.:37:56.

been divided through this atrocious conflict. May I join the right

:37:57.:38:02.

honourable lady in paying tribute to our brave servicemen and women and

:38:03.:38:06.

also welcomed the announcement in her statement and UK humanitarian

:38:07.:38:10.

aid, but can I price on what specific funding will be offered to

:38:11.:38:13.

women and girls who have been subject to the most unimaginable

:38:14.:38:20.

sexual violence and heart -- hands of Daesh? We will be providing

:38:21.:38:27.

humanitarian support required, but also, four to 6000 vulnerable and

:38:28.:38:32.

displaced people, many women and girls, -- 40 6000. They will also

:38:33.:38:38.

receive support from the money we are announcing today. -- 40 6000.

:38:39.:38:44.

You accrue the liberalisation of Mosul is a vindication for both

:38:45.:38:51.

sides of this House, to give our allies the support they needed, but

:38:52.:38:56.

which in their agree that one of the most vital things is getting them

:38:57.:39:01.

back to work, and most -- what specific work for her department be

:39:02.:39:04.

doing to bring Mosul's economy back to life?

:39:05.:39:11.

Are great opportunity now is in rebuilding the country, putting

:39:12.:39:14.

infrastructure in place, but also working collectively with many of

:39:15.:39:18.

our party -- partners but also the companies that will do -- go in

:39:19.:39:27.

there. That is a major feature of the stabilisation and rebuilding

:39:28.:39:29.

work that DFID is leading on, with our colleagues across Government but

:39:30.:39:34.

also working it's nationally with our counterparts. Point of order.

:39:35.:39:44.

ICQ guide is to find out whether you have had any notice from the

:39:45.:39:49.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on an appendix statement on

:39:50.:39:54.

the HMRC building programme. His department had to play MIDI over its

:39:55.:39:59.

decision to move over 1000 jobs from my constituents is to Edinburgh,

:40:00.:40:03.

despite the fact there was a report damning the future building

:40:04.:40:07.

programme just before the election, and as things stand, questions are

:40:08.:40:12.

being made about inappropriate use of funds during powder, until we

:40:13.:40:17.

have those answers, the public and my constituents can not have

:40:18.:40:21.

confidence in this Parliament and its processes. I thank the

:40:22.:40:26.

honourable lady for her point of order. In short I have received no

:40:27.:40:31.

indication from the Secretary of State for work and pensions of an

:40:32.:40:35.

intention to come to this -- the House to make an oral statement, I

:40:36.:40:38.

think something has been announced either in the form of a written

:40:39.:40:43.

statement or some media communication, but something out

:40:44.:40:45.

with what I would call oral discourse. That said, the honourable

:40:46.:40:50.

lady in her relatively short time in the House has become an adroit

:40:51.:40:54.

deployer of the various mechanisms available to her to pursue the

:40:55.:40:59.

interests of her constituents. There are some days to go before the House

:41:00.:41:04.

rises for the summer recess, and if she judges there is an urgency

:41:05.:41:07.

attached to this matter, I'm sure she will have records to the

:41:08.:41:10.

appropriate mechanism and I will look out for it. What's more, I

:41:11.:41:14.

rather imagine the honourable lady will be in her seat, they picked up

:41:15.:41:18.

and down from it, and business questions tomorrow. -- and leaping

:41:19.:41:25.

up and down. Speaker-macro, many people including myself will be

:41:26.:41:28.

disappointed to read in today's paper that the Prime Minister has

:41:29.:41:31.

postponed the publication of a report that she ordered, to audit

:41:32.:41:36.

and examine how people of different backgrounds are treated by public

:41:37.:41:41.

services as part of her mission to tackle burning injustices. The

:41:42.:41:46.

reason for this delay is record -- reportedly because it is explosive

:41:47.:41:51.

and pretty bad. Given the genuine and growing concern of this issue,

:41:52.:41:56.

is it in order for the Prime Minister to postpone publication

:41:57.:41:59.

because she does not like the findings, and it would look bad for

:42:00.:42:03.

her Government? And is there a way Parliament can have sight of this

:42:04.:42:07.

report that the Prime Minister is trying to hide? The short answer to

:42:08.:42:11.

the honourable lady is that nothing disorderly has taken place. The

:42:12.:42:15.

timing of Government statements and indeed the release of Government

:42:16.:42:21.

reports are matters for Government ministers rather than for the chair.

:42:22.:42:26.

If however there is a completed report, and the honourable lady and

:42:27.:42:30.

others are keen to know its contents and are not care -- labour is -- I'm

:42:31.:42:37.

not clear that is no compelling reason it should not be published

:42:38.:42:40.

sooner rather than later, it is open to the honourable lady before summer

:42:41.:42:49.

recess to cajole or entice an appropriate Minister to come to the

:42:50.:42:52.

House. I cannot commit that that will happen, but I have this keen

:42:53.:42:57.

sense that the honourable lady will be returning to the issue, and

:42:58.:43:00.

probably seeking some sort of adjudication from me in the days

:43:01.:43:08.

ahead. Point of order, Debbie Abrahams. Parred during Prime

:43:09.:43:12.

Minister's Questions, the first secretary claimed that people with

:43:13.:43:16.

mental health conditions are more likely to be supported by personal

:43:17.:43:19.

independence payment than by disability living allowance. The

:43:20.:43:23.

mental health charity mind has made it clear that 55% of people with

:43:24.:43:28.

mental health conditions transferring from DLA have no award

:43:29.:43:34.

or a reduced award. I would be grateful if you could advise me on

:43:35.:43:37.

how we can have the record corrected.

:43:38.:43:41.

I think it is fair to say that the honourable lady has found her own

:43:42.:43:46.

salvation. In that she has put her fought on the record in

:43:47.:43:51.

characteristically robust but also, thankfully, pithy form. -- her

:43:52.:43:55.

thought. And it will now form part of the official report. And I am

:43:56.:44:01.

well aware, and I would be failing in my duty if I were not well aware,

:44:02.:44:04.

but the honourable lady has very strong views on this matter. And

:44:05.:44:10.

that those mad -- views differ markedly from those of the first

:44:11.:44:13.

Secretary of State. I think it is fair to say this is probably a

:44:14.:44:18.

matter for debate, but we should leave it there, albeit only for

:44:19.:44:24.

today. If there are no further points of order, we come now to the

:44:25.:44:31.

general debate on the ground full tower fire inquiry. -- Grenfell

:44:32.:44:43.

Tower fire inquiry. I am looking to the first Secretary of State. I

:44:44.:44:50.

begin by expressing my deepest sympathy to all those who lost

:44:51.:44:55.

family members and other loved ones in this terrible tragedy, their

:44:56.:44:58.

suffering's beyond imagining. Our thoughts also go out to those who

:44:59.:45:02.

lost their homes and possessions. Since that terrible event on the

:45:03.:45:07.

14th of June, one month ago, we have all been deeply affected by this

:45:08.:45:12.

unprecedented tragedy, and words feel inadequate. I would like to pay

:45:13.:45:17.

tribute to the men and women of our emergency services, many of whom

:45:18.:45:20.

risked life and limb in their efforts to tackle the fire, and

:45:21.:45:23.

showed extraordinary courage in their determination to save lives,

:45:24.:45:28.

and also equally importantly to the many volunteers and charities who

:45:29.:45:33.

have given their time and much, much more to help the bereaved and those

:45:34.:45:37.

who have lost their homes. They return to the purpose of the debate.

:45:38.:45:44.

The chair of the Grenfell Tower inquiry is currently consulting over

:45:45.:45:47.

the scope of the inquiry's terms of reference. To this debate -- this

:45:48.:45:53.

debate provides an opportunity for Parliament to provide its views

:45:54.:45:57.

about an inquiry before these terms are set. It is most important the

:45:58.:46:01.

chair listens to the views of those most affected by the tragedy, and

:46:02.:46:05.

takes account of those views when considering the scope of his

:46:06.:46:10.

enquiries' terms of reference. But I am sure some autumn will want to

:46:11.:46:14.

reflect on the views expressed in this House today, and of course we

:46:15.:46:21.

should all be conscious that the survivors of the terrible tragedy

:46:22.:46:24.

will also be listening to what is said in this House today. And

:46:25.:46:34.

grateful to my honourable friend forgiving way so early on, but does

:46:35.:46:38.

he agree that it is important to have an interim report, because if

:46:39.:46:42.

there are recommendations which affect crucial health issues with

:46:43.:46:46.

high-rise blocks, then that needs to be attended to as soon as possible.

:46:47.:46:53.

My honourable friend is correct and he may be aware that there is an

:46:54.:46:58.

intention to produce an interim report as soon as possible because I

:46:59.:47:06.

am conscious that one of the great wishes of many of the survivors and

:47:07.:47:11.

the groups representing them is of a quicker resolution as possible and

:47:12.:47:16.

in answer to as many as the questions as possible. I thank the

:47:17.:47:24.

first trip to forgiving way. On the scope of the report, I'm sure there

:47:25.:47:27.

will be many reports through the debate and I do not want to widen it

:47:28.:47:32.

too far, but can he assures macro that the scope will look at private

:47:33.:47:37.

blocks and not just be confined to social housing, because in my

:47:38.:47:41.

experience as a city centre MP, it is often more difficult for

:47:42.:47:44.

residents to have their voice heard when you have opaque ownership and

:47:45.:47:50.

managing agents who are not responsive to residents in private

:47:51.:47:54.

blocks rather than the social box? The honourable lady makes a good

:47:55.:47:58.

point. I cannot guarantee what the terms of reference would be because

:47:59.:48:03.

that is a matter for Sir Martin, but one of the purposes of this debate

:48:04.:48:08.

is for views like that precisely to be expressed on the issue of private

:48:09.:48:15.

blocks, I am happy to assure her and the house that the testing regime

:48:16.:48:19.

for the safety of blocks does extend to private blocks as well. Would you

:48:20.:48:26.

say what has happened to the independent task force by his

:48:27.:48:33.

colleague, if it has not yet been convened, if we do not know the

:48:34.:48:37.

members are what they are doing, would he reconsider sending in

:48:38.:48:40.

Commissioners, particularly given what we heard this morning that the

:48:41.:48:46.

person that task of force are reporting to, who despite being a

:48:47.:48:50.

councillor for 11 years has not been inside a tower block despite being a

:48:51.:48:53.

canned net years for five years has not been seen fit to go to any of

:48:54.:49:01.

the tower blocks in her borough? I can reassure the honourable

:49:02.:49:07.

gentleman that the task force will be reporting to my honourable friend

:49:08.:49:10.

the Secretary of State and not to Kensington Council, so I hope that

:49:11.:49:14.

provides him with reassurances. It is an independent body reporting to

:49:15.:49:22.

the Secretary of State. Could the Secretary of State clarify for us

:49:23.:49:27.

that the costs struck back task force has any authority whatsoever

:49:28.:49:34.

or is it advisory? It is an advisory not an executive panel reporting to

:49:35.:49:40.

the Secretary of State which I think is the proper way to proceed. In his

:49:41.:49:44.

statement announcing the Inquirer, the Prime Minister that's can I make

:49:45.:49:51.

some progress's? We're saying the task force has no authority and the

:49:52.:49:57.

authority remains with the council, so that is a distinction between the

:49:58.:50:03.

task force powers and the powers that would be available to a

:50:04.:50:06.

Commissioner if a commission was appointed? The task force will be

:50:07.:50:12.

overseeing what the council does, but as I have said to his honourable

:50:13.:50:18.

friends, it will be reporting to the secretary of state who can then

:50:19.:50:21.

decide the appropriate way to recede, so it is independent of the

:50:22.:50:26.

council, it is not reporting to the council and it will oversee what the

:50:27.:50:33.

council is doing. The Prime Minister identified the immediate priority

:50:34.:50:36.

when she announced the inquiry. Establishing the facts of what

:50:37.:50:39.

happened at Grenfell Tower in order to take the necessary action to

:50:40.:50:43.

prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. In Carrie will fill

:50:44.:50:48.

that and report in two phases with an interim report being published as

:50:49.:50:55.

soon as possible. Beyond that, it is important that all the wider lessons

:50:56.:50:59.

from this catastrophe and the inspections of other buildings

:51:00.:51:03.

around the country that followed it are identified and learnt. The

:51:04.:51:09.

Samaritan has said, and I quote, I shall make it clear that I want to

:51:10.:51:13.

consider a broad range of evidence including on the role of relevant

:51:14.:51:17.

public authorities and contractors to help me answer the important

:51:18.:51:21.

questions. I give way to the honourable lady. I'm grateful to the

:51:22.:51:27.

Housing minister on answering my written question. I find it

:51:28.:51:29.

extraordinary there is no central management or any records kept of

:51:30.:51:33.

housing contracts within the housing department. There is no situation

:51:34.:51:36.

where there is no accountability and trams currency. And the degree to

:51:37.:51:45.

which housing contracts are then contacted to other private

:51:46.:51:49.

providers. In view of this, with the Government advise whether there are

:51:50.:51:55.

plans to revisit this? There are a large range of issues on which the

:51:56.:52:02.

inquiry may well wish to make augmentation to the Government and

:52:03.:52:07.

the Honourable lady has put that thought on the records now and as I

:52:08.:52:13.

have said previously as Sir Martin will wish to take note of the views

:52:14.:52:19.

expressed during this debate. I am grateful to my honourable friend. On

:52:20.:52:22.

the wider point, he will appreciate that many of the survivors suffered

:52:23.:52:28.

from carbon monoxide poisoning. This is known as the silent killer and

:52:29.:52:33.

will he ensure that among the other lessons learned the planned and

:52:34.:52:37.

proposed review of carbon monoxide alarms does actually go ahead in

:52:38.:52:43.

October of this year? My honourable friend makes an extremely good point

:52:44.:52:49.

of the wider point about the range of lessons that need to be learned

:52:50.:52:54.

from this terrible tragedy and has he will know, there is an expert

:52:55.:52:58.

panel that will be helping the inquiry that will have a range of

:52:59.:53:05.

Cesc skills and expertise in areas and he has given rise to an

:53:06.:53:10.

important issue which is not just Government but the inquiry itself

:53:11.:53:14.

will want to look at. As the inquiry... I am brittle to the

:53:15.:53:20.

Minister for giving way. He is right that no stone should be left

:53:21.:53:24.

unturned in in covering the truth behind the horror that was the

:53:25.:53:28.

Grenfell Tower fire, but when we talk about wider lessons and action

:53:29.:53:33.

in the meantime, can I ask this question? Birmingham has 231 tower

:53:34.:53:39.

blocks, the City Council has rightly decided that it will retrofit

:53:40.:53:43.

sprinklers in all of those blocks. That will cost ?31 million and the

:53:44.:53:49.

council has suffered ?700 million of cuts to their budget. Will the

:53:50.:53:54.

Government unequivocally commit to funding all necessary safety

:53:55.:53:58.

measures pending the outcome of the inquiry? The safety measures that

:53:59.:54:05.

are recommended by the Fire Service, the honourable friend of Secretary

:54:06.:54:07.

of State of communities has said will be met by the Government, so

:54:08.:54:12.

those are the necessary measures that the Fire Service recommends all

:54:13.:54:17.

stop the inquiry is designed to ascertain the causes of the

:54:18.:54:23.

tragedy... For clarity, I believe that the Minister has dismayed a

:54:24.:54:27.

very important statement. Is he saying that the necessary safety

:54:28.:54:34.

measures to protect what are 10,000 households in 231 blocks will be

:54:35.:54:39.

funded by the Government? For clarity, let me look at, let me go

:54:40.:54:46.

through this, that if the Fire Service recommends that something

:54:47.:54:49.

needs to be done for safety reasons, and if the local authorities will be

:54:50.:54:56.

the first Pope 's call to pay for that I'm sure they will want to

:54:57.:55:01.

follow the Fire Service's recommendation in this, if the local

:55:02.:55:06.

authority can show it cannot afford it, then central Government will

:55:07.:55:11.

step in. That is a matter for local authorities and the Fire Service in

:55:12.:55:18.

the first instance which is clearly be sensible way to proceed. The

:55:19.:55:23.

inquiry will clearly need to examine all other than circumstances. I

:55:24.:55:27.

think there have been very generous in giving way. I really need to make

:55:28.:55:32.

some progress. The inquiry will need to examine all relevant

:55:33.:55:35.

circumstances leading up to is an surrounding the fire at Grenfell

:55:36.:55:38.

Tower. It spread to the whole of the building and its effect on

:55:39.:55:41.

residents. That means looking at circumstances well beyond the design

:55:42.:55:46.

and construction and modification of the building itself will stop it

:55:47.:55:50.

will mean looking at the relevant public authorities and contractors

:55:51.:55:53.

and the broader implications of the fire for the adequacy and

:55:54.:55:59.

enforcement of regulations. It means looking at the handling of concerns

:56:00.:56:03.

previously expressed by local residents. Sir Martin is highly

:56:04.:56:08.

respected. Can I make some progress? And countries there are many who

:56:09.:56:12.

want to contribute and I have been extremely generous in giving way. I

:56:13.:56:17.

think the House will benefit from progress. Sir Martin is highly

:56:18.:56:22.

respected and as a recently retired Court of Appeal judge he brings many

:56:23.:56:26.

years of judicial experience. Sir Martin and the Government agree that

:56:27.:56:30.

for this inquiry, consulting on the terms of reference is an important

:56:31.:56:35.

way of involving those affected by the tragedy. It is clearly right

:56:36.:56:39.

that those affected by this terrible tragedy and others with an interest

:56:40.:56:43.

I given the opportunity to shape the terms of reference which will in

:56:44.:56:48.

turn give direction and focus to the inquiry. Sir Martin has started a

:56:49.:56:52.

consultation process and is keen to give as many people as possible the

:56:53.:56:56.

chance to contribute to the consultation. You will consider all

:56:57.:56:59.

suggestions given to him when drawing up the terms of reference.

:57:00.:57:02.

He will then make a recommendation to the PM who is responsible for

:57:03.:57:09.

setting out the terms of reference. I will give way again, but I wish to

:57:10.:57:15.

finish this section if I may one. Sir Martin said, and I will quote

:57:16.:57:18.

him at lines because I think this is at the heart of many of the issues

:57:19.:57:23.

that have arisen. He said I am determined to establish the causes

:57:24.:57:27.

of the tragedy and ensure the appropriate lessons are learned. To

:57:28.:57:30.

do this, the inquiry will need to look at all relevant

:57:31.:57:38.

circumstances... To understand the causes and prevent the tragedy

:57:39.:57:41.

happening again. To produce a report as quickly as possible with clear

:57:42.:57:46.

recommendations for action, I will listen to people and consider a

:57:47.:57:48.

broad range of evidence including on the role as contractors in order to

:57:49.:57:56.

help me answer this. I want to hear from people directly affected by the

:57:57.:58:00.

fire and others involved to listen to their views on the shape of the

:58:01.:58:04.

inquiry and the questions we should be seeking to answer. This is

:58:05.:58:08.

clearly the right approach to take. Sir Martin has set a deadline of

:58:09.:58:13.

Friday the 28th of July extended by two weeks from the inquiry's

:58:14.:58:17.

original deadline following discussions between Sir Martin and

:58:18.:58:20.

survivors of the fire and other residents of the estate which made

:58:21.:58:25.

clear that those affected need more time to respond to the consultation.

:58:26.:58:29.

This extension will allow the inquiry to begin its work in August.

:58:30.:58:35.

I'm sure we all agree the sooner the inquiry can begin, the sooner we

:58:36.:58:39.

will have the important conclusions of its report. It's important to

:58:40.:58:43.

point out that the others will be able to feed into the enquiries are

:58:44.:58:49.

being choir read by writing to the inquiry are e-mailing the contact

:58:50.:58:52.

address provided on the inquiry website. The terms of reference can

:58:53.:58:59.

be revised 20 cars of the inquiry which is likely that it reflects on

:59:00.:59:04.

what it has learned adding interim report stage before it starts phase

:59:05.:59:11.

two of its work. I thank my honourable friend for giving way and

:59:12.:59:14.

I am heartened to hear about the inclusive CV of this inquiry. The

:59:15.:59:18.

book safety must be at the forefront, so would my honourable

:59:19.:59:20.

friend 's comment on whether he might look at historically and

:59:21.:59:25.

confirm whether the inquiry will look into the effectiveness of the

:59:26.:59:29.

fire regulations and the enforcement regime that was enforced in 2005 and

:59:30.:59:35.

six respectively. My honourable friend raises a valid and important

:59:36.:59:44.

point. I can assure that the expert panel which covers a range of

:59:45.:59:48.

expertise is already looking at art and that will feed into the inquiry.

:59:49.:59:53.

The honourable gentleman wishes me to give way. Following on from the

:59:54.:59:58.

question from his honourable friend, the building regulations should be

:59:59.:00:01.

chief review because this country it is usually ten years, it now 11. It

:00:02.:00:08.

was recommended in 2013 the regulation should be reviewed, the

:00:09.:00:12.

Government has been saying since 2011 and after that they would be

:00:13.:00:16.

done by this year. We do not have too wait for a Republican choir two

:00:17.:00:20.

save the building regulations should be reviewed. When can we expect the

:00:21.:00:24.

working party to be re-called to show the work is underway now? I

:00:25.:00:31.

appreciated the honourable gentleman has huge experience and expertise in

:00:32.:00:34.

this particular area and I can assure him that one of the things

:00:35.:00:39.

the expert panel is to ring is seeing if there is still advise

:00:40.:00:43.

needed to be given urgently to the Secretary of State which needs to be

:00:44.:00:45.

acted on, so that is The Secretary of State is right

:00:46.:00:54.

there should be this consultation to try to help rebuild trust of the

:00:55.:00:58.

local community in the inquiry, but should there not be an advisory

:00:59.:01:01.

panel that has genuine community members, that are diverse and are

:01:02.:01:08.

from the community, to advise the panel?

:01:09.:01:14.

The right honourable gentleman may know that there is already, if you

:01:15.:01:18.

like, something similar to what he is suggested, a group called

:01:19.:01:26.

Grenfell United, which indeed my right honourable friend the

:01:27.:01:28.

Secretary of State and the Minister met last night for a long and

:01:29.:01:35.

extensive meeting, so I can assure him that the views of those most

:01:36.:01:40.

affected are obviously being fed into Sir Martin directly, but they

:01:41.:01:45.

are also having direct communication with the Secretary of State as well.

:01:46.:01:50.

In terms of the potential appointment of panel members, the

:01:51.:01:54.

priority at this stage is for consultation on the terms of

:01:55.:01:57.

reference, which once agreed will allow the inquiry to start work. The

:01:58.:02:01.

chair will also want to consider what expert assistance might be

:02:02.:02:08.

required, including the process of consultation. But I want to ensure

:02:09.:02:12.

the House that Government work is already in hand to address issues

:02:13.:02:17.

highlighted by this terrible tragedy. DC LG on the Cabinet Office

:02:18.:02:23.

are working together across the piece, and the wider building safety

:02:24.:02:27.

probe -- programme which are no honourable members on all sides have

:02:28.:02:32.

been concerned about. They have ripped all councils and housing

:02:33.:02:35.

associations, calling for checks to social -- social housing. Have

:02:36.:02:42.

written to. -- they have written to. A request a Government department --

:02:43.:02:48.

departments and on's men's bodies, to submit samples for testing from

:02:49.:02:58.

priority building... I thank him for giving way. I would like to ask the

:02:59.:03:02.

first secretary if he is aware of a lot of the advice has been quite

:03:03.:03:08.

contradictory. We appeared initially to be informed that certain types of

:03:09.:03:11.

cladding had to be removed, that then seemed to be changed to a

:03:12.:03:15.

position where certain types could be safe in fire systems, we also had

:03:16.:03:19.

a lack of clarity about whether that testing regime was compulsory, and

:03:20.:03:25.

now we are informed that actually the department was responding to

:03:26.:03:29.

landlords' concerns. If the Secretary of State aware that this

:03:30.:03:32.

kind of flip-flopping is to -- causing a lot of confusion and

:03:33.:03:37.

concern especially to tenants. The expert panel are continuing to

:03:38.:03:48.

provide the advice. The advice has been consistently followed by the

:03:49.:03:51.

department, because clearly they have the expertise to do so. So they

:03:52.:03:58.

may well discover more, and decide that the first is to change, but it

:03:59.:04:03.

is all done on the basis of experts in fire safety who are independent

:04:04.:04:11.

of Government... I'm grateful to the first secretary for giving way. As

:04:12.:04:17.

somebody who grew up in a two bed council block of flats, the

:04:18.:04:20.

traditional advice was always stay put and await rescue. I wonder how

:04:21.:04:26.

many souls perished following the traditional advice that tenants

:04:27.:04:34.

took, and is that advice changing? That is clearly an issue that may

:04:35.:04:41.

well be addressed by Sir Martin and the public inquiry, that is clearly

:04:42.:04:44.

the appropriate form for that sort of investigation to be made. Labour

:04:45.:04:50.

I am grateful to the first secretary. Even as we speak, before

:04:51.:04:56.

this inquiry has begun, there continue to be new tower blocks

:04:57.:04:59.

being constricted and developed in my constituency and around the

:05:00.:05:03.

country. Can the Secretary of State say what you advice has been given

:05:04.:05:08.

to planning authorities and those who monitor construction standards,

:05:09.:05:14.

and to the building industry? The expert panel has published new

:05:15.:05:19.

advice which was published last week, with a memorandum of

:05:20.:05:22.

understanding about what should be done about new blocks, so that issue

:05:23.:05:28.

has very directly been addressed over the past month. Returning to

:05:29.:05:35.

the issues... One more. I thank him for giving way. In relation to the

:05:36.:05:41.

points that have just been raised, I have constituents, people with

:05:42.:05:47.

disabilities who live on high flaws in tower blocks who have raised

:05:48.:05:50.

grave concerns about what they should do in the event of emergency.

:05:51.:05:59.

-- high floors. Particularly with regard to whether they should be

:06:00.:06:07.

taking lifts. Would advice of the state should be part of the extended

:06:08.:06:13.

enquiries? The smack of this nature. That are already rules in place --

:06:14.:06:18.

obviously there are rules that are in place.

:06:19.:06:24.

The fire safety advisers are looking at what happened and what should

:06:25.:06:29.

happen in future, but it will be the local fire safety authorities that

:06:30.:06:34.

give that advice. And I'm sure all of them will have been looking very

:06:35.:06:37.

carefully at the advice they have been giving, particularly to people

:06:38.:06:42.

wheelchairs who clearly will be very understandably concerned at whether

:06:43.:06:46.

they are getting the right safety advice, so I would advise her to

:06:47.:06:50.

talk to her local fire safety officials. If I can return to the

:06:51.:06:54.

actions that have been taken over the past month, the Cabinet Office

:06:55.:06:58.

has established a cross Government working group, with a technical

:06:59.:07:03.

subgroup, to ensure that all technical advice is understood and

:07:04.:07:08.

is being properly applied. Government is ensuring full

:07:09.:07:11.

engagement and alignment with activity in the devolved

:07:12.:07:15.

administrations, and -- as I am conscious they will be particularly

:07:16.:07:19.

concerned about this as well. DCLG has formed an expert advisory panel

:07:20.:07:26.

made up of fire safety and building experts, to advise Government on any

:07:27.:07:31.

immediate action required to ensure buildings are safe, and the Cabinet

:07:32.:07:35.

Office is working with DCLG's expert panel and others to establish a

:07:36.:07:40.

remediation plan and next steps towards the review of building

:07:41.:07:45.

regulations that several members have asked for. All of this is

:07:46.:07:49.

underway outside the inquiry's timetable, so its completion will

:07:50.:07:54.

not be dependent on completion of the inquiry's report. I note some of

:07:55.:07:58.

those affected by this terrible event are concerned that an inquest

:07:59.:08:04.

would be more appropriate than an inquiry, and that the inquiry might

:08:05.:08:08.

delay ratification of those who died. I can reassure them there will

:08:09.:08:14.

be an inquest -- identification. The coroner is already investigating the

:08:15.:08:18.

deaths. Once the identification of each of the deceased has been

:08:19.:08:22.

completed, I understand the coroner will open inquest into each

:08:23.:08:26.

individual death and then adjourn proceedings pending the outcome of

:08:27.:08:30.

other investigations including the inquiry. The coroner will consider

:08:31.:08:34.

the inquiry's recommendations to determine whether to resume inquest.

:08:35.:08:37.

Therefore this process will not delay the formal identification of

:08:38.:08:43.

victims. I should also reassure those who want a criminal

:08:44.:08:46.

investigation into this terrible tragedy that this is in hand. The

:08:47.:08:51.

Metropolitan Police announced the investigation on the 16th of June,

:08:52.:08:55.

it is one of the largest and most complexes investigations ever

:08:56.:08:58.

undertaken by the Metropolitan Police, with around 250 specialist

:08:59.:09:04.

investigators currently engaged. I hope are honourable members will be

:09:05.:09:06.

reassured by the clear statements about the investigation by the

:09:07.:09:13.

Metropolitan Police. Detective Superintendent Philip McCormack said

:09:14.:09:15.

that the investigation would identify and investigate any

:09:16.:09:20.

criminal offence, and given the deaths of so many people, we are

:09:21.:09:24.

considering manslaughter as well as criminal offences and breaches of

:09:25.:09:30.

legislation and read -- regulations. A point reinforced by Sir Martin

:09:31.:09:34.

Hewitt who said, the investigation we are conducting is a criminal

:09:35.:09:38.

investigation, that quite obviously starting from the potential that

:09:39.:09:42.

there is something that effectively amounts to the manslaughter of those

:09:43.:09:48.

people. It is clear this will be a vigorous, detailed investigation.

:09:49.:09:53.

The police are determined that if wrongdoing has occurred, the

:09:54.:09:54.

perpetrators will be brought to justice. The Grenfell Tower

:09:55.:10:08.

inquiry's is of utmost importance. The Government will provide it with

:10:09.:10:16.

all the resources it needs to carry out its work thoroughly and rapidly.

:10:17.:10:20.

We must learn the lessons from this tragedy to ensure nothing like it

:10:21.:10:26.

happens again. Try the question is that this House has considered the

:10:27.:10:32.

Grenfell Tower fire inquiry. -- the question is. Today is four weeks to

:10:33.:10:43.

the days since the Grenfell Tower fire, the worst fire and greatest

:10:44.:10:46.

loss of life in this country at least since the London Blitz. 158

:10:47.:10:51.

families have lost their homes, many others have lost loved ones. And all

:10:52.:10:57.

struggling with the horror and the trauma of losing family members, of

:10:58.:11:03.

their own escape and being left with absolutely nothing. And this is the

:11:04.:11:10.

time when they feel -- should feel they can look to their council and

:11:11.:11:15.

their Government for help, as well as to the overwhelming solidarity

:11:16.:11:18.

and support of their local community. But so many do not, and

:11:19.:11:26.

so many feel they simply cannot trust those in authority to listen

:11:27.:11:31.

to them, and to do what they promise. So this is a very strong

:11:32.:11:38.

message to ministers, to Kensington and Chelsea Council, and to the

:11:39.:11:43.

chair of the Prime Minister's public inquiry. Madam Deputy Speaker, today

:11:44.:11:50.

is one week on from the Prime Minister's deadline for everyone

:11:51.:11:56.

affected to be found a home nearby, yet just four of the 158 families

:11:57.:12:01.

from Grenfell Tower have moved into a fresh home, and this is only

:12:02.:12:07.

temporary. Today is 24 days on from the start of the Government's

:12:08.:12:10.

testing programme when the Prime Minister said, we can test over 100

:12:11.:12:17.

buildings a day, yet only 224 tests have been done, almost all on one

:12:18.:12:22.

type of filler in one type of cladding. Today is four years and

:12:23.:12:30.

four months on since two official coroner 's' reports following other

:12:31.:12:34.

fatal tower block fires, yet the Government has still failed to act

:12:35.:12:38.

on their recommendations. And today is almost three weeks since the

:12:39.:12:45.

Prime Minister said, and I quote, "We simply have not given enough

:12:46.:12:52.

attention to social housing," and yet, in her speech yesterday crying

:12:53.:12:56.

out for any ideas for a domestic policy programme, there was no

:12:57.:13:01.

mention of housing, and no mention of the words "Social housing." This

:13:02.:13:06.

is the measure of the Government's response to the Grenfell Tower

:13:07.:13:13.

tragedy. Too slow to act, too slow to grasp the gravity and the

:13:14.:13:17.

complexity of the problems, one step off the pace at every stage. So let

:13:18.:13:23.

me spell out the First Minister and his colleagues. This is the pledge

:13:24.:13:30.

that this party makes, as the official opposition, above all to

:13:31.:13:35.

the survivors and the relatives of the families from Grenfell Tower. We

:13:36.:13:40.

will not rest until all those who need help and a new home have it. We

:13:41.:13:46.

will not rest until all those culpable have been brought fully to

:13:47.:13:50.

account. And we will not rest until all measures needed to make sure

:13:51.:13:55.

this can never, ever happen again are fully in place. Now, we welcome

:13:56.:14:03.

the Prime Minister's public inquiry, we welcome what the First Minister

:14:04.:14:07.

said this afternoon about this debate, helping to inform the terms

:14:08.:14:11.

of reference and the way the inquiry will begin ducted. -- will be

:14:12.:14:17.

conducted. We will make a submission to the Prime Minister on the terms

:14:18.:14:21.

of reference, and we will recommend an approach like the MacPherson

:14:22.:14:26.

inquiry, with panel members, appointed with a deep experience in

:14:27.:14:33.

community relations, to help overcome this serious gulf in trust

:14:34.:14:36.

that many in the North Kensington community feel. Let me turn to

:14:37.:14:44.

housing and help the survivors. The pledges the Government have made to

:14:45.:14:50.

the families and survivors promised no strings financial assistance,

:14:51.:14:55.

open access to trauma counselling, guaranteed school places, no legal

:14:56.:14:59.

action on immigration status or subletting, and we housing, are all

:15:00.:15:04.

welcome and all important. But there is still a big gap between what

:15:05.:15:11.

ministers are saying to us in this House, and what the residents and

:15:12.:15:14.

community in North Kensington are saying is happening to them. On

:15:15.:15:23.

housing, how is it, one week after the Prime Minister's deadline, that

:15:24.:15:26.

only four families have moved into a fresh home, and 13 others have been

:15:27.:15:30.

offered somewhere they feel they can say yes to? Who is finding, checking

:15:31.:15:40.

and offering this temporary accommodation? Who is providing

:15:41.:15:42.

reassurance needed for the families? Who is in charge?

:15:43.:15:49.

I thank him for giving way. These people, the rehousing as of the

:15:50.:15:59.

upmost importance. But to politicise about the figures and to argue, I

:16:00.:16:02.

don't know where he is getting the figures from, but I was led to

:16:03.:16:08.

believe that 139 people had received offers of accommodation and many

:16:09.:16:10.

families have agreed not yet to engage because they are not quite

:16:11.:16:16.

ready. So he cannot force them to either. I'm not sure be this

:16:17.:16:22.

statistics are coming from and whether all this scaremongering

:16:23.:16:24.

about statistics is helping solve the actual problem this government

:16:25.:16:31.

is getting on with doing. The speech was back in figure three. If I am

:16:32.:16:36.

wrong but only four of these families after one month have moved

:16:37.:16:47.

into a permanent home and are no longer in hotels, you can get up and

:16:48.:16:53.

correct me, but he is not. It is precisely the decisions and policies

:16:54.:16:58.

of those in power that the Grenfell Tower residents once challenged. And

:16:59.:17:04.

it is precisely the questions of policy, of ideology, of

:17:05.:17:07.

responsibility in government that lie at the heart of the deep changes

:17:08.:17:11.

needed to fix the housing crisis in this country and her own Prime

:17:12.:17:22.

Minister has recognised that. 159 families have been offered, as

:17:23.:17:31.

wearable friend said brightly. Some of those have said that they don't

:17:32.:17:37.

wish yet to make the move into the housing they have been offered.

:17:38.:17:49.

Everyone will recognise the needs to meet those wishes. I can assure him

:17:50.:17:54.

and the House that 159 of the families identified have been

:17:55.:18:00.

offered more than one accommodation. That commitment has been met. Thinks

:18:01.:18:09.

the Secretary of State might want to set the record entirely straight

:18:10.:18:13.

when he winds up this debate. I take him at his word for no. Last week,

:18:14.:18:18.

we were told there were 158 families who lost homes in the Grenfell

:18:19.:18:26.

Tower, 139 had been offered accommodation by the Prime

:18:27.:18:30.

Minister's deadline. Last week, only three had moved out. This week,

:18:31.:18:36.

today, for weeks on, four have moved out and only a further 13 have

:18:37.:18:41.

actually been given offers that they feel they can accept. Is a huge gap

:18:42.:18:45.

between what ministers are seeing here and what residents are saying

:18:46.:18:50.

they are. That is the problem and the question to the secretary and

:18:51.:18:56.

the Secretary of State, who is sorting this out, who is in charge,

:18:57.:18:59.

who is responsible for this continuing failure to provide the

:19:00.:19:06.

homes for people to start again that they need? I'm sure he would accept

:19:07.:19:11.

a hotel room is now home and temporary accommodation is no place

:19:12.:19:15.

to try to rebuild shattered life. So the top and the urgent priority must

:19:16.:19:21.

be for ministers to sign the permanent homes that are needed. Now

:19:22.:19:26.

we welcome the 68 homes in Kells internal role that now will be

:19:27.:19:31.

available as social housing for the residents of Grenfell Tower. -- in

:19:32.:19:38.

Kensington raw. The rest could be done straightforwardly by doing a

:19:39.:19:42.

deal with local housing associations to make new houses available, by

:19:43.:19:47.

leasing or buying vacant private properties in the area, and by

:19:48.:19:51.

funding the council to build or acquire new homes needed. It make

:19:52.:19:55.

even force Kensington and Chelsea to use some of that reported ?274

:19:56.:20:01.

million in reserves to take this urgent priority action. I give way.

:20:02.:20:09.

Most of the residents who have been decanted are in budget hotels, I

:20:10.:20:15.

know because I've visited a number who were unceremoniously dumped in

:20:16.:20:20.

my borough without money or change of clothes and have been there four

:20:21.:20:24.

weeks. None of those people either because they want to be there.

:20:25.:20:27.

They're there because they haven't been made appropriate offers. Does

:20:28.:20:39.

he agree with me that we should be offering decent homes to people who

:20:40.:20:43.

have suffered extraordinary trauma? I entirely agree with my honourable

:20:44.:20:49.

friend. He speaks from a very special authority as a neighbouring

:20:50.:20:55.

MP who has spent a great deal of the last four weeks in the North

:20:56.:20:58.

Kensington community working alongside our honourable friend, the

:20:59.:21:03.

new member for Kensington, to try to support and give voice to the

:21:04.:21:07.

concerns of residents and survivors. Let me move on to safety testing. It

:21:08.:21:13.

is totally unacceptable, for weeks on from the Grenfell Tower fire,

:21:14.:21:17.

that ministers still don't know and can't see how many of the country's

:21:18.:21:24.

other tower blocks are unsafe. And the government's testing programme

:21:25.:21:29.

is too slow, it is too narrow, it is to confuse. This is a testing

:21:30.:21:37.

programme in chaos. Only 224 tests done when an estimated 530 tower

:21:38.:21:43.

blocks have the same cladding. A total of 4000 tower blocks across

:21:44.:21:47.

the country, this means 24 days after the start of this testing

:21:48.:21:55.

programme, which we were told it could test 100 buildings a day, we

:21:56.:22:00.

find tests have been done on only half of the highest risk blocks and

:22:01.:22:04.

fewer than one in 20 of the total number of tower blocks around the

:22:05.:22:09.

country. Last week, the Secretary of State said there was no backlog in

:22:10.:22:14.

testing and tests would be processed within a matter of hours. Given the

:22:15.:22:18.

continuing shortfall in the number of high-rise buildings that have

:22:19.:22:22.

been subjected testing, but he sure my absolute bafflement that the

:22:23.:22:25.

government doesn't appear to know where any of this material actually

:22:26.:22:33.

is? Yes, I share your bafflement. I share it entirely. I also hear

:22:34.:22:38.

stories of councils and housing associations that want to test their

:22:39.:22:42.

buildings may not have the same type of cladding and they simply cannot

:22:43.:22:49.

get the tests. And I noticed again the first secretary's speech and his

:22:50.:22:53.

update to this House was entirely free of any facts or figures that

:22:54.:22:58.

can update us on the chaos of this testing programme. I give way. My

:22:59.:23:02.

honourable friend will be aware that in my constituency the council has

:23:03.:23:08.

done the testing and as a result has evacuated over 300 people from

:23:09.:23:12.

estates. Camden Council is spending its own money trying to make sure

:23:13.:23:16.

these buildings are fit for purpose before residents are placed in it

:23:17.:23:19.

again. Does he agree that the government should be giving

:23:20.:23:23.

financial support to Camden Council and other councils after cutting

:23:24.:23:29.

their budget for years on end? The short answer is yes. The longer

:23:30.:23:36.

answer is that I pay tribute to the tough decision that Camden Council

:23:37.:23:39.

had to make in those circumstances. My fear is that other housing

:23:40.:23:44.

associations and other councils, landlords of high-rise blocks around

:23:45.:23:49.

the country, will hold back or potentially cut corners because they

:23:50.:23:54.

know they cannot afford to do the works required either to remove and

:23:55.:23:59.

replace cladding or to make the inside is safe and fully fire safety

:24:00.:24:06.

compliant. And they will do so only because they cannot get a straight

:24:07.:24:15.

answer from this government, a clear commitment, to make sure this

:24:16.:24:18.

essential work is done. This leaves hundreds of thousands of residents

:24:19.:24:22.

in tower blocks around the country uncertain still whether or not their

:24:23.:24:29.

blocks are safe. I say to the ministers opposite, I hope they stay

:24:30.:24:34.

for this debate. We will hear from a number of colleagues around the

:24:35.:24:39.

country, concerns about the testing system that it leaves landlords and

:24:40.:24:43.

residents confused, it is a testing system that is not meeting the needs

:24:44.:24:47.

of those residents or of those landlords. And we know from the

:24:48.:24:55.

Lakanal House fire that cladding is not the whole problem. Only one

:24:56.:25:01.

component of one type of cladding has been tested until very recently.

:25:02.:25:07.

No tests on cladding systems, on intuition materials, the interaction

:25:08.:25:11.

between cladding and installation, or on the installation and fire

:25:12.:25:18.

breaks between force. I say to the Secretary of State, housing

:25:19.:25:20.

associations across the country cannot get their type of cladding

:25:21.:25:25.

tested so they cannot reassure the residents there tower blocks are

:25:26.:25:31.

safe. Councils like Salford have stopped stripping of cladding from

:25:32.:25:35.

high-rise flats because they have no guidance from government on what to

:25:36.:25:44.

replace it with. I thank him for giving way. I want to make a comment

:25:45.:25:53.

on that point in relation to a council I would like to commend for

:25:54.:25:58.

the speed at which they were able to remove cladding. Also, my concerned

:25:59.:26:05.

that with the amount of real cladding that might take place

:26:06.:26:08.

across the country that we don't see those who might be producing the

:26:09.:26:12.

cladding jacking up pricing and making it even more expensive to

:26:13.:26:19.

replace. She is right. Oxford council is in the dark. It simply

:26:20.:26:24.

does not know what the guidance and advice from government will be. If

:26:25.:26:28.

you take the cladding off, what do they replace it with that they can

:26:29.:26:37.

be certain as safe? The first secretary made great play of

:26:38.:26:40.

independent experts quite rightly in his speech. The panel is there to

:26:41.:26:45.

advise them on urgent lessons and action necessary. This is very

:26:46.:26:50.

welcome. I hope this panel can help the government get back on track. I

:26:51.:26:55.

hope it can deal with some of the following concerns which ministers

:26:56.:27:00.

will hear from colleagues from other parts of the country. What advice

:27:01.:27:04.

will the government gives to landlords and what reassurance to

:27:05.:27:10.

residents, if cladding systems past the second round of tests when they

:27:11.:27:14.

may have failed the narrow first test? If cladding feels, must it be

:27:15.:27:22.

taken of tower blocks in all circumstances? And will the

:27:23.:27:27.

government cover cost of taking it down and replacing it? When will

:27:28.:27:30.

councils and housing associations be able to get other cladding or

:27:31.:27:35.

intuition tested? How will the government make sure all internal

:27:36.:27:39.

fire safety works are now being done inside tower blocks meet the highest

:27:40.:27:45.

safety standards? And will the government wanted an immediate

:27:46.:27:48.

review into the approved inspectors responsible for building control

:27:49.:27:54.

checks, who hires them, who pays them, who approves the

:27:55.:27:58.

qualifications, starting with all those responsible for signing off

:27:59.:28:02.

the systems being failed by the government's tests? For weeks on,

:28:03.:28:08.

ministers what must widen their testing programme, reassure all

:28:09.:28:14.

high-rise tenants that their buildings are safe or commit to fund

:28:15.:28:18.

the urgent work necessary to make them safe. The clearest warnings

:28:19.:28:27.

that there were failures came more than format used ago following the

:28:28.:28:33.

inquest into fatal tower block fires at Lakanal House and in another

:28:34.:28:42.

circumstance. There were formal letters to ministers with

:28:43.:28:45.

recommendations to improve fire safety in high-rise buildings.

:28:46.:28:57.

Some of the recommendations were simply rejected, like making

:28:58.:29:05.

internal cable supports fire resistant or on-site information

:29:06.:29:10.

about a tower block available for firefighters arriving to fight a

:29:11.:29:14.

police. Ministers said they would act on others but simply have not.

:29:15.:29:22.

What with retrofitting sprinkler systems, the government passed

:29:23.:29:26.

responsibility on to landlords. One minister even said in 2014, we

:29:27.:29:31.

believe it is the responsibility of the fire industry rather than

:29:32.:29:36.

government. And with overhauling building regulations, the government

:29:37.:29:42.

promised a review, but this did not happen. And now the Housing Minister

:29:43.:29:46.

has just told me, this work will now need to be informed by any

:29:47.:29:49.

recommendations the independent enquiry into Grenfell Tower fire

:29:50.:29:57.

makes. Can I finish this point? Rather than waiting months or years

:29:58.:30:05.

longer to start this work, ministers must act now, start installing

:30:06.:30:10.

sprinkler systems in the highest risk high-rise blocks and start the

:30:11.:30:15.

overhaul of building regulations which can incorporate any findings

:30:16.:30:20.

from the fire investigations or from the public enquiry. I give way.

:30:21.:30:25.

Thank you. Does my right honourable friend, has he picked up the same

:30:26.:30:29.

rumour that I've picked up on the review of the building regulations

:30:30.:30:33.

that went on in CLT and I've heard it was Paul is because there were

:30:34.:30:37.

not the civil servants able to lead on that work

:30:38.:30:56.

because they were taken off that work because of Brexit and work that

:30:57.:31:01.

needed to be done to look at Brexit? If that is true, how many other

:31:02.:31:03.

pieces of work that are essential and urgent and safety-related are on

:31:04.:31:04.

pause in government right now? There is an even greater question

:31:05.:31:16.

over a leadership which I will come onto any minute. Finally, I want to

:31:17.:31:23.

return it to the fundamental issues as the PM described them, that were

:31:24.:31:28.

raised by the Grenfell Tower fire. When a country is decent and as

:31:29.:31:33.

well-off as ours fails to provide something as basic as a safe home

:31:34.:31:39.

for all its citizens, then things must change. Too serious to start

:31:40.:31:51.

with, first on regulation. -- two areas. Surely all sides of the House

:31:52.:31:58.

will agree on this, all markets, all consumers, all organisations require

:31:59.:32:03.

regulation. The require regulation to get quality, safety, ensuring

:32:04.:32:10.

safe practice, yet this is not the mindset of the current Government.

:32:11.:32:14.

Never again can we have a Government minister challenged on fire safety

:32:15.:32:18.

measures as one was after the Camberwell fire permit seeing it is

:32:19.:32:24.

not the Government's responsibility and justifying this with the

:32:25.:32:28.

Government's approach to regulations won in to add role. If the PM and

:32:29.:32:33.

her secretary are at serious about change, they should start by

:32:34.:32:37.

confirming that this approach has ended with the Cameron George

:32:38.:32:45.

Osborne era Conservative Government. You are making a very important

:32:46.:32:50.

point. When I was a junior business man, I was asked by people from

:32:51.:32:53.

number ten in the Cabinet office whether we should get rid of the

:32:54.:32:57.

fire safety regulations with respect to girls and ladies nightdresses,

:32:58.:33:03.

related to furniture, I said no, we didn't get rid of them, nor should

:33:04.:33:07.

we. He is right. We have to change the culture. I am grateful for that

:33:08.:33:13.

unexpected support from the Liberal Democrat benches. He makes a very

:33:14.:33:19.

important, specific point that supports the general argument I am

:33:20.:33:28.

making this afternoon. On social housing, for decades after the

:33:29.:33:33.

Second World War, there was a national cross-party consensus about

:33:34.:33:37.

the value of social housing to help meet the housing needs and

:33:38.:33:40.

families. There was a recognition families. There was a recognition

:33:41.:33:45.

that in this country since World War II there has only been one year in

:33:46.:33:50.

which we have built more than 200,000 homes without the public

:33:51.:33:52.

sector during at least a third of them. Yet this is also the first

:33:53.:33:57.

Government since World War II that is providing no funding to help

:33:58.:34:05.

build new social rented housing and this Government has also ended all

:34:06.:34:08.

funding through the home thinking unity agency programme for decent

:34:09.:34:12.

homes, which is the investment to bring a social housing up to

:34:13.:34:17.

scratch. If the first secretary and the Prime Minister were serious

:34:18.:34:22.

about social housing, they would live cap on councils borrowing to

:34:23.:34:27.

build and maintain their homes, restore essential Government

:34:28.:34:30.

investment to help build a new social housing, guarantee first dibs

:34:31.:34:33.

on new homes for local people and strengthen the hand of councils to

:34:34.:34:37.

get better deals from big developers for their residents. Finally, Madam

:34:38.:34:44.

Deputy Speaker, the Prime Minister wants us to contribute rather than

:34:45.:34:51.

just criticise. You have to ask, has she asked her cabinet to contribute?

:34:52.:34:58.

What does the Secretary of State have to contribute to solving the

:34:59.:35:03.

country's housing crisis, to doing more on the social housing? To

:35:04.:35:07.

reversing the plunging rate of home ownership in this country,

:35:08.:35:11.

especially for young people? To giving 11 million private

:35:12.:35:12.

basic consumer rights? Or preventing basic consumer rights? Or preventing

:35:13.:35:18.

the rapidly rising level of rough sleeping homelessness on our

:35:19.:35:21.

streets? Where is the plan? Where is the hope, the leadership? If the

:35:22.:35:28.

Prime Minister wants a domestic policy programme, if she wants to

:35:29.:35:32.

find common cause and make fundamental changes to Government

:35:33.:35:37.

policy, then we stand ready to contribute and we offer our Labour

:35:38.:35:40.

housing manifesto, published last month, as a starter. If the

:35:41.:35:47.

Government wants our support, for a plan to tackle the country's housing

:35:48.:35:52.

crisis, it must raise its sites. If ministers want every support, for

:35:53.:35:58.

their recovery programme host Grenfell, they must raise their

:35:59.:36:09.

game. Madam Deputy Speaker, can I start by saying that I do agree with

:36:10.:36:14.

the honourable gentleman Phil Wentworth on one aspect, which is

:36:15.:36:19.

that I think he is right to say this was an accident which should not

:36:20.:36:21.

have happened in a country like ours. I do think he is also right to

:36:22.:36:29.

argue for a national and clear approach that doesn't just

:36:30.:36:32.

concentrate on one issue but look at all the issues involved. I thought

:36:33.:36:41.

he uncharacteristically was not prepared to accept, or at least it

:36:42.:36:45.

seems so, that over the years on both sides of the Has winning

:36:46.:36:49.

Government, we have made mistakes in this area and I think if you thought

:36:50.:36:56.

back to 2005 and 2006 when the enforcement regime was weakened and

:36:57.:37:01.

the building regulations changed, I think he might just think, was that

:37:02.:37:05.

really tackling the problem on the issue of building houses over the

:37:06.:37:10.

previous Labour Government having a deplorable record. I don't think

:37:11.:37:16.

that he can just be holier than thou in his debate in the way that I

:37:17.:37:21.

thought he was tempted to do. I would like to start by just paying

:37:22.:37:25.

tribute to the local community, for all it has done at the Westway

:37:26.:37:31.

Sports Centre. People were generous, warm-hearted, they put their arms

:37:32.:37:37.

around the victim's families. Our thoughts, correctly, I with the

:37:38.:37:40.

victims and families. I would like to pay tribute to the communities of

:37:41.:37:45.

the Westway and Latimer Road who have come out of this very strongly

:37:46.:37:50.

indeed. It is time that fires which claim lives in high-rise buildings

:37:51.:37:57.

was a thing of the past. Just an experience from my own constituency,

:37:58.:38:03.

in February 2005 there was a fire in Stevenage in Harrow court, at

:38:04.:38:08.

high-rise flat blocks, 17 stories, two firemen lost their lives,

:38:09.:38:11.

including my constituent Geoff including my constituent Geoff

:38:12.:38:15.

Warren. And also a member of the public as well. Jeff came from a

:38:16.:38:19.

family which is very much committed to public service. He was extremely

:38:20.:38:24.

brave in the fire and saved lives. His loss was felt in my constituency

:38:25.:38:28.

and by his family, friends and the and by his family, friends and the

:38:29.:38:31.

Fire Service in Hertfordshire and Warren Whiteley. This incident led

:38:32.:38:39.

to a fire investigation by Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue

:38:40.:38:42.

Service, a very good one. It has had a lot of experience in dealing with

:38:43.:38:47.

hazardous materials, it fought the Bruntsfield fire as well as been

:38:48.:38:53.

done. It is generally a highly respected Fire and Rescue Service.

:38:54.:38:56.

They made recommendations, one of them was that the UK Fire Service

:38:57.:39:01.

should explore options for high-rise buildings to have provision of

:39:02.:39:07.

sprinklers. I felt at the time that this was an important matter. We had

:39:08.:39:13.

a Westminster Hall debate about Hertfordshire firefighter's safety.

:39:14.:39:18.

The then Fire Mr Siddique Khan met Jeff's father and fire safety

:39:19.:39:23.

experts to discuss the case for sprinklers to be retrofitted to all

:39:24.:39:28.

high-rise blocks and experts in sprinklers went to be meeting to.

:39:29.:39:34.

This hasn't happened, but Robert Warren, he still feels this is an

:39:35.:39:38.

important way of helping to ensure that there is fire safety in such

:39:39.:39:43.

blocks. He contacted me recently to say he hoped this could be back on

:39:44.:39:48.

the agenda. After 2007, the rules were changed for new buildings, over

:39:49.:39:57.

30 metres high. Which I required now to be fitted with sprinkler systems.

:39:58.:40:01.

Some local authorities have gone ahead and retrofitted to some of

:40:02.:40:06.

their blocks. As was mentioned by the honourable gentleman for

:40:07.:40:13.

Wentworth. Coroners, on two occasions, have recommended

:40:14.:40:16.

retrofitting sprinklers. It has not been the general rule. We do need a

:40:17.:40:20.

something that is clear. The British something that is clear. The

:40:21.:40:23.

automatic fire sprinkler Association automatic fire sprinkler Association

:40:24.:40:29.

estimates that the cost of fitting a system in Grenfell Tower would have

:40:30.:40:34.

been around ?200,000. We need to establish the truth of what happened

:40:35.:40:38.

in Grenfell Tower and make sure it doesn't happen again. I do hope this

:40:39.:40:43.

issue of the retrofitting of sprinkler systems can be firmly and

:40:44.:40:47.

urgently considered, because I do think that it is something which

:40:48.:40:54.

might be long overdue. In terms of the investigations which have been

:40:55.:40:57.

ordered, there is a police ordered, there is a

:40:58.:40:59.

investigation which will look at investigation which will look at

:41:00.:41:03.

criminal wrongdoing, but I think it is good there is a judicial public

:41:04.:41:07.

enquiry announced by the Prime Minister and the two types of

:41:08.:41:11.

investigation have different purposes. The public enquiry

:41:12.:41:14.

investigates an issue about serious investigates an issue about serious

:41:15.:41:17.

public concern, scrutinising decisions and events. The enquiries

:41:18.:41:24.

act of 2005 ensures that witnesses can be compelled and documents

:41:25.:41:29.

brought forward without any difficulties, something which didn't

:41:30.:41:34.

happen in other forms of enquiry. They are different to criminal

:41:35.:41:38.

investigations. The parallel criminal investigation into the fire

:41:39.:41:41.

by the Metropolitan Police will be informed by the public enquiry. If,

:41:42.:41:47.

for example, fax and recommendations are made in the public enquiry, if

:41:48.:41:52.

during the course of the investigation of the enquiry comes

:41:53.:41:55.

across criminal activity, it will obviously pass that, that is its

:41:56.:42:01.

duty, to the police. There has been some discussion nationally about the

:42:02.:42:05.

choice of the chair. I would just say this, people come to our country

:42:06.:42:11.

to have their legal issues resolved, from all over the world. They come

:42:12.:42:16.

here because we have independent minded judges who don't mind telling

:42:17.:42:19.

the Government where it gets off and when it's wrong. We have judges of

:42:20.:42:26.

the highest quality. There is a transparent system which people

:42:27.:42:30.

trust. That is why the English legal system has been copied all over the

:42:31.:42:34.

world and why people respected so highly. Our common law system is

:42:35.:42:39.

excellent. The choice of the chair for this public enquiry was a senior

:42:40.:42:47.

judge. I think if you look at something like Hillsborough, were a

:42:48.:42:51.

senior judge presided, nobody would argue that these judges are not

:42:52.:42:55.

capable of dealing with a complex case and getting right to the heart

:42:56.:43:01.

of the issues. The Lord Chancellor asked the Lord Chief Justice or a

:43:02.:43:04.

recommendation of a judge he would be best suited to the task of

:43:05.:43:10.

leading a public enquiry of this sort, and he recommended Sir Martin

:43:11.:43:14.

Moore-Bick. Sir Martin is one of the most respected judges, with

:43:15.:43:18.

extensive experience of trying complex cases, including the

:43:19.:43:22.

investigation of disasters. He was vice president of the civil division

:43:23.:43:26.

of the Court of Appeal, one other very most senior judges, until he

:43:27.:43:31.

retired in December. He will get to the heart of the issue. Members in

:43:32.:43:35.

all parts of the Houses are determined there will be justice for

:43:36.:43:38.

the victims of this tragedy and for their families. I believe the

:43:39.:43:44.

combination of a judge let enquiry and a police investigation will

:43:45.:43:48.

achieve this. I think you can judge how well a judge is going to judge

:43:49.:43:53.

an enquiry about how speedily he gets on with the matter in hand. In

:43:54.:43:58.

this case, Sir Martin has shown by immediately consulting, he opens the

:43:59.:44:04.

consultation on the 5th of July, to establish the terms of reference,

:44:05.:44:09.

but seeking a wide range of views. That bodes very well for the

:44:10.:44:14.

enquiry. He wants to hear from those directly affected by the fire. He is

:44:15.:44:21.

having a series of meetings to listen to the families. It is

:44:22.:44:29.

welcome at the chair has been so open to ideas. He said he wants to

:44:30.:44:33.

establish the terms of reference as soon as possible, so the enquiry can

:44:34.:44:38.

begin the process of making sure we know what happened and how to stop

:44:39.:44:43.

it happening again. I am a strong supporter of the judge let enquiry.

:44:44.:44:49.

I hope it will be possible to have a relatively early interim report

:44:50.:44:53.

which will deal with some of these key issues, like sprinkler systems

:44:54.:44:59.

and cladding, so we have that sort of national clear approach which the

:45:00.:45:01.

honourable gentleman opposite mentioned. I am a strong supporter

:45:02.:45:07.

of the enquiry, but I would like to see sprinklers strongly on

:45:08.:45:09.

agenda. Thank you. The Scottish agenda. Thank you. The Scottish

:45:10.:45:17.

National Party welcomes the Government announcement of a full

:45:18.:45:20.

public enquiry into this terrible tragedy. We are very clear as others

:45:21.:45:25.

have already said no still needs to be left unturned in order to

:45:26.:45:28.

ascertain not just the immediate cause of the fire but the wider

:45:29.:45:33.

causes of what happened and what went wrong and to ensure appropriate

:45:34.:45:36.

lessons are learned and to get justice for those affected. Our

:45:37.:45:40.

thoughts and sympathies are very much with those who were affected by

:45:41.:45:45.

this terrible tragedy, it goes without saying we pay tribute to the

:45:46.:45:50.

bravery and professionalism of the first responders and the emergency

:45:51.:45:51.

services. I want to address the scope and the

:45:52.:46:08.

nature of the enquiry. I'm glad to see that the days of enquiries were

:46:09.:46:15.

establishment whitewashes are over. I don't think our society could put

:46:16.:46:25.

up with such delays again. We must always be mindful that the history

:46:26.:46:29.

of enquiries in this country has seen many examples of justice being

:46:30.:46:34.

delayed or denied altogether. It seems to me this most often happens

:46:35.:46:39.

when those affected by death in disaster come from amongst the ranks

:46:40.:46:53.

of those with the least in society. I am thinking of innocent Liverpool

:46:54.:47:01.

football fans unlawfully killed and then wrongfully blamed as the cause

:47:02.:47:06.

of their own deaths. Bloody Sunday was also different from the Grenfell

:47:07.:47:14.

Tower enquiry. A Scottish journalist recently brought some words to my

:47:15.:47:21.

attention. A man told the BBC, we are not per people, when

:47:22.:47:25.

working-class people, where leaseholders, homeowners, we pay

:47:26.:47:31.

tax, we pay council tax, we make the economy turned whilst the rich put

:47:32.:47:36.

us in hazardous positions. He said, we have been neglected from the get

:47:37.:47:42.

go and we are neglected still. These words may be uncomfortable for some

:47:43.:47:47.

to hear, but they cannot and should not be ignored. They come from a

:47:48.:47:53.

survivor. Underlying this tragedy, I believe there is a stark contrast in

:47:54.:47:57.

our society between those who have wealth, power and influence, and

:47:58.:48:02.

those who do not. It seems to me at least unthinkable that those with

:48:03.:48:06.

power, wealth and influence would have been condemned to live in

:48:07.:48:09.

accommodation which seems to have been such a death trap. So, I say

:48:10.:48:18.

that this tragedy raises very real questions about the inequalities in

:48:19.:48:21.

our society and the inadequate provision of social housing in

:48:22.:48:28.

cities such as London. And there is a very real issue as to whether the

:48:29.:48:32.

enquiry is going to be of adequate school not just to address immediate

:48:33.:48:38.

causes of fire and its immediate spread, but systemic issues

:48:39.:48:41.

underlying the tragedy. So the terms of reference are vital and it is

:48:42.:48:46.

vital the participants have confidence in the chair and it is

:48:47.:48:52.

vital that all participants have adequate funding to ensure

:48:53.:48:58.

representation. Looking at the terms of reference, the Stephen Lawrence

:48:59.:49:07.

enquiry is often considered as an exemplar of what an enquiry should

:49:08.:49:13.

do. They are, the terms of reference were simply matters arising from the

:49:14.:49:18.

death of Stephen Lawrence. In this case, survivors are concerned about

:49:19.:49:22.

comments from a judge which suggested the enquiry will be

:49:23.:49:30.

restricted to looking at issues regarding how the fire started,

:49:31.:49:38.

rather than general issues. We were told last week that the government

:49:39.:49:43.

expect the enquiry to be as broad an enquiry as possible. What is not

:49:44.:49:51.

clear to me is whether this House will be able to scrutinise or have

:49:52.:49:56.

any input into the final framing of those terms of reference and in my

:49:57.:50:01.

view away should be found to enable this to happen. Because the Grenfell

:50:02.:50:06.

fire raises issues which concern all of the public across the UK and our

:50:07.:50:12.

constituents. I have a constituent who has written to me concerned

:50:13.:50:17.

about the extent of the death toll. The composition seems to include

:50:18.:50:23.

those who are sometimes forgotten in our society. Members of the public

:50:24.:50:30.

are concerned that the fact seems to be a refurbishment budget for this

:50:31.:50:34.

block was spent with an emphasis on cladding that was pleasing to the

:50:35.:50:38.

eye rather than fire safe and a suggestion that not enough was spent

:50:39.:50:43.

on fire safety measures. And the public are concerned about the

:50:44.:50:46.

adequacy of the response to the fire. People have said, where was

:50:47.:50:54.

the publicly funded infrastructure dealing with relief? Where was the

:50:55.:50:59.

plan for the aftermath of this? So we need to make sure the terms of

:51:00.:51:04.

reference of the enquiry encompass these matters, whilst also making

:51:05.:51:07.

sure the interim report deals with the immediate fire safety issues. We

:51:08.:51:17.

should never forget that the decades of failure to investigate properly

:51:18.:51:21.

what happened at Hillsborough began with the controversial decision by

:51:22.:51:26.

the coroner in the inquest to close off certain questions from proper

:51:27.:51:29.

investigation. So I believe we must be very careful here not to close

:51:30.:51:34.

off certain questions arising from how this fire came about from a

:51:35.:51:42.

proper investigation. Turning to the chair, the problems with the child

:51:43.:51:49.

abuse enquiry shall as it is vital to have a chair that has the

:51:50.:51:57.

confidence of those affected. Concerns of residents must be

:51:58.:52:00.

respected and listen to. If there is doubt surrounding public confidence,

:52:01.:52:05.

that cannot be ignored because it will undermine the efficacy of the

:52:06.:52:12.

enquiry. As the honourable member for... I shall give way. This is a

:52:13.:52:17.

judge who has dealt with the most complex matters, disasters. For

:52:18.:52:29.

somebody of that sort of ability, how can she say that is not the

:52:30.:52:32.

right sort of person to run a judicial enquiry. It is not a

:52:33.:52:45.

decision for me, I am bringing to the attention of the House the

:52:46.:52:54.

concerns of members of the public. What is required here is a properly

:52:55.:52:58.

diverse expert panel to sit along the enquiry judge to advise him on a

:52:59.:53:02.

variety of issues. I respectfully suggest doubts about

:53:03.:53:23.

the ability of the judge may be allayed. Whether the benches

:53:24.:53:30.

opposite like it or not, it is absolutely vital that the people

:53:31.:53:33.

affected by this disaster have confidence in the ability of the

:53:34.:53:41.

enquiry to bring about a just result. I will continue to develop

:53:42.:53:53.

my point. All I and others are asking is that the Minister gives

:53:54.:54:01.

serious consideration to the demand that in addition to the judge they

:54:02.:54:04.

should be an expert panel which is properly diverse and is of the

:54:05.:54:13.

proper expertise to advise on issues regarding housing need and fire and

:54:14.:54:15.

safety construction. Will she give way? In our country,

:54:16.:54:35.

people take cases against the government to the courts the whole

:54:36.:54:41.

time. The judges are very keen to do cases properly. The kickback the

:54:42.:54:48.

government on numerous times. Is she really saying that this is one of

:54:49.:54:53.

the most senior judges in our country who is not going to be able

:54:54.:54:59.

to do an independent job of the highest quality? That is not what I

:55:00.:55:05.

have said. This is not a litigation, this is a public enquiry. All I am

:55:06.:55:09.

saying is the government have accepted the requires to be a panel

:55:10.:55:14.

of advisers. I am making a simple point. The panel of advisers should

:55:15.:55:23.

be of suitable expertise and diversity to inspire confidence.

:55:24.:55:25.

Another thing required to ensure justice is done is to make sure that

:55:26.:55:28.

not only victims but also tenants groups are given public funding for

:55:29.:55:34.

independent and separate legal representation, sufficient to enable

:55:35.:55:42.

them to have a voice equal to local government and private management

:55:43.:55:45.

companies. This is a simple matter of human rights and equality of

:55:46.:55:48.

arms. When I asked the Prime Minister about this on 22 June, she

:55:49.:55:54.

said that although the way the enquiry is conducted as a matter for

:55:55.:55:58.

the chair, she said that legal representation will be funded by the

:55:59.:56:01.

government and she was not going to set any limits regarding bodies or

:56:02.:56:07.

individuals for whom funding would be available. Therefore, I welcome

:56:08.:56:11.

what she said. Although the question of funding and proper representation

:56:12.:56:15.

is a matter of the enquiry, it can only work well within the

:56:16.:56:19.

constraints imposed on it by the Treasury. And if the tenants groups

:56:20.:56:25.

are not represented in this enquiry, then I fear justice will not be seen

:56:26.:56:33.

to be done. Finally, before I see something about devolved

:56:34.:56:37.

administrations, I want to turn to the question of recommendations of

:56:38.:56:40.

the enquiry being properly implemented. I would suggest it is

:56:41.:56:47.

vital that this House is encouraged to make sure that the

:56:48.:56:53.

recommendations are implemented promptly because important

:56:54.:56:57.

recommendations are not always implemented promptly. We have

:56:58.:57:00.

already heard about the recommendations after the Lakanal

:57:01.:57:07.

House fire. After a tower block fire in Irvine in 1999, select committee

:57:08.:57:11.

of this House recommended that all cladding on high-rise dwellings

:57:12.:57:17.

should be noncombustible. Subsequent to devolution, that report was taken

:57:18.:57:21.

seriously by Scottish housing authorities and building regulations

:57:22.:57:26.

in Scotland were duly amended in 2005. All new domestic high-rise

:57:27.:57:30.

buildings are fitted with noncombustible cladding or a

:57:31.:57:35.

cladding system that meets stringent fire tests. Since 2005, they are

:57:36.:57:42.

fitted with sprinklers. The same recommendation be seen as optional

:57:43.:57:46.

south of the border and it appears now that has had tragic

:57:47.:57:52.

consequences. It is vital that this House finds a way to make sure that

:57:53.:57:58.

the enquiries recommendations are properly implemented. Briefly,... I

:57:59.:58:07.

join the tributes which have been paid to the victims and first

:58:08.:58:12.

responders. There are many people in Scotland who still live in tower

:58:13.:58:17.

blocks. As well as the reassurances she has provided, they nevertheless

:58:18.:58:20.

will be looking to the recommendations that come from this

:58:21.:58:24.

report. Does she agree there will be lessons to be learned across the UK?

:58:25.:58:31.

It is important assurances are provided to people who continue to

:58:32.:58:35.

live in tower blocks? I entirely agree with my honourable friend. I

:58:36.:58:44.

was pleased that the city of Edinburgh Council had all elected

:58:45.:58:48.

representatives in to tell us what steps they were taking to ensure

:58:49.:58:51.

high-rise blocks were safe. Scottish building standards are devolved, as

:58:52.:58:57.

I have indicated. The Scottish Government has already set up a

:58:58.:59:01.

ministerial building group to ensure our buildings are up to scratch and

:59:02.:59:07.

to make sure the Fire and Rescue Service are satisfied with the

:59:08.:59:11.

standards in local buildings. I'm pleased to say that all 32 local

:59:12.:59:14.

authorities in Scotland have been able to confirm that none of the

:59:15.:59:19.

high-rise domestic properties that they own have used the type of

:59:20.:59:24.

cladding will understanding was used on Grenfell Tower. The Scottish

:59:25.:59:26.

Government has not been complacent about this and the Scottish Fire and

:59:27.:59:30.

Rescue Service will continue to carry out additional operational

:59:31.:59:34.

assurance visits to high-rise buildings. The Scottish Government

:59:35.:59:39.

will continue to monitor the situation in Scotland, gathering

:59:40.:59:41.

information from Scottish local authorities and kicking a safety

:59:42.:59:45.

first approach to this issue, whilst we await information into this fire

:59:46.:59:55.

in London. It is vital that the way in which this enquiry is setup, the

:59:56.:59:59.

framing of the terms of reference, the way in which the expert panel

:00:00.:00:06.

will advise the chair, is chosen, is made up and funding is made

:00:07.:00:10.

available to all relevant participants. Those things are vital

:00:11.:00:15.

for justice to be seen to be done and we cannot cut corners on any of

:00:16.:00:19.

them. There is widespread concern across the United Kingdom about the

:00:20.:00:24.

whole circumstances surrounding this fire. The public and all of our

:00:25.:00:28.

constituents, most particularly the people local to this fire, need to

:00:29.:00:33.

be satisfied that justice is both done and also seem to be done. The

:00:34.:00:42.

House struggles on occasions like this to get the tone of the debate

:00:43.:00:48.

right. When members of this place a walk on 14 June, we would all have

:00:49.:00:58.

been horrified by what we witnessed. And how on earth those residents are

:00:59.:01:03.

coping with the tragedy I just don't know. I pay an immediate tribute to

:01:04.:01:08.

the local member of Parliament who has not been here for very long, but

:01:09.:01:13.

in no time at all has done her very best to local residents.

:01:14.:01:18.

Congratulations to her and I think the House will come together at

:01:19.:01:19.

least on that point. There are no words adequate to

:01:20.:01:29.

describe our feelings on this horror. It started on the fourth

:01:30.:01:33.

residents were asleep. Within half residents were asleep. Within half

:01:34.:01:42.

an hour, it was a towering Inferno. And to turn on the TV screens in the

:01:43.:01:49.

morning and see what happens, it was truly shocking. This was just a

:01:50.:01:56.

month ago. This House has a huge responsibility in this debate, how

:01:57.:01:58.

we deal with this matter. I think the tone must be more direct. --

:01:59.:02:08.

must be moderate. Recently there was an article written by Nick Ross, I

:02:09.:02:13.

do not know him personally, but he appears on TV as a commentator. He

:02:14.:02:18.

said no one has the right to monopoly on anger or grief. For 15

:02:19.:02:25.

years, I have been campaigning to update building regulations in

:02:26.:02:30.

England to improve fire safety and to have sprinklers fitted routinely

:02:31.:02:36.

to cancel and other social housing. -- to councils. I cannot recall a

:02:37.:02:39.

single Government minister or opposition frontbencher who ever

:02:40.:02:45.

campaigned with us. Three times I have addressed the local Government

:02:46.:02:51.

Association, pointing out how the risks are disproportionate in a

:02:52.:02:59.

subsidised housing, it is the... They did absolutely nothing. I come

:03:00.:03:03.

to my honourable friend the Minister, ministers are mostly here

:03:04.:03:07.

today and gone tomorrow, but I hope my honourable friend will be around

:03:08.:03:12.

for a little time. Few would be claimed to be expert in the breeze.

:03:13.:03:16.

Except for those who know what all, because the art writ by ideology.

:03:17.:03:23.

Most ministers do listen to their advisers. If there is any group

:03:24.:03:30.

whose actions allied the catastrophe to happen it was these advisers.

:03:31.:03:38.

Ministers took the advice. Finally, Mr Ross said in his article,

:03:39.:03:43.

sprinklers are not invincible, they cannot function if the water supply

:03:44.:03:47.

fails. But and this is the truth that makes me so angry, no one ever

:03:48.:03:53.

dies from fire when a home is protected by automatic sprinklers.

:03:54.:03:58.

That is why in the United States they are spending or installing 40

:03:59.:04:02.

million a year. Let's not be persuaded that the risk is only in

:04:03.:04:08.

high-rise towers, there are three to 400 fire deaths a year and most

:04:09.:04:11.

victims live in a low-rise properties. We need sprinklers in

:04:12.:04:18.

all social housing, care homes and multi-occupation premises including

:04:19.:04:23.

schools. Let's not forget our hospitals. There is a terrible

:04:24.:04:28.

languor after Grenfell, instead of trading political insults we must

:04:29.:04:32.

put it to good use. Madam Deputy Speaker, we politicians are often

:04:33.:04:37.

criticised. We take the blame for most things that happen. We have

:04:38.:04:44.

been criticised for not acting, as far as this particular issue is

:04:45.:04:48.

concerned. That cannot be said of the All Party Parliamentary Fire

:04:49.:04:54.

Safety Rescue Group. I am delighted that there are a number of

:04:55.:04:59.

members present in the House who are very active members of the group,

:05:00.:05:04.

unfortunately we lost 12 members in the last election. It has been going

:05:05.:05:11.

for a very long time. I don't know whether colleagues are aware, but we

:05:12.:05:16.

find out this morning that one newly elected Scottish Conservative member

:05:17.:05:21.

was a former firefighter and no doubt he will bring his own

:05:22.:05:25.

expertise. Most of us aren't experts, we have depended since 1986

:05:26.:05:31.

on two marvellous secretaries, first of Douglas Smith and then in 2013

:05:32.:05:37.

Ronnie King took over. Time after time, as the honourable member whose

:05:38.:05:43.

advice chairman of the group said earlier, we ask ministers to look at

:05:44.:05:51.

the Lacko Nel recommendation about the retrofitting of sprinklers and

:05:52.:05:54.

we ask for the building regulations to be reviewed after 11 years. My

:05:55.:06:01.

honourable friend, the minister, who I think will be replying to the

:06:02.:06:06.

debate, has already met members of the group. And this morning, it was

:06:07.:06:14.

agreed, I put a number of points to my honourable friend the Minister,

:06:15.:06:18.

which I hope he will consider. Without prejudice to the public

:06:19.:06:24.

investigation, the all-party group investigation, the all-party group

:06:25.:06:28.

wants to respond to the Secretary of State's invitation to submit

:06:29.:06:31.

measures which can be put in place immediately to keep people safe. I

:06:32.:06:36.

entirely accept the frustration of opposition members that something

:06:37.:06:38.

needs to be done now and we don't needs to be done now and we don't

:06:39.:06:43.

need to wait till the outcome of the public enquiry for that to happen. I

:06:44.:06:46.

hope my honourable friend the Minister will reflect on that. One

:06:47.:06:51.

such measure is to commence the long promised review of approved document

:06:52.:06:57.

be to the building regulations forthwith and in particular to seek

:06:58.:07:01.

an immediate reinstatement of the provisions as section 20 of the

:07:02.:07:05.

London building acts in so far as they are required, it is crazy that

:07:06.:07:16.

we no longer had those regulations. The Minister will face the test, he

:07:17.:07:22.

will be given advice. Unless it is in the affirmative, I hope the

:07:23.:07:25.

Minister will make his own decision and will agree with the all-party

:07:26.:07:28.

Parliamentary group's recommendation. Thank you. My

:07:29.:07:36.

honourable friend obviously understands these things better than

:07:37.:07:40.

me. One thing that has really worried me about this tragedy, and I

:07:41.:07:46.

question it, is if there were sprinklers inside the building and

:07:47.:07:52.

the building went on fire outside it, would people have survived,

:07:53.:07:58.

despite the fact that the building outside was a flame? That worries

:07:59.:08:03.

me. I don't know whether there is an answer. It seems to me, they might

:08:04.:08:08.

have done. He makes an interesting point. People do not lose their

:08:09.:08:12.

lives when sprinklers are affected. The second thing,... Does my

:08:13.:08:21.

honourable friend think, it speaks volumes that in 2007 we said every

:08:22.:08:25.

building should have a sprinkler system. I will come to your point, I

:08:26.:08:34.

also want the Minister tree here, it is not his department, it is crazy

:08:35.:08:38.

that it isn't mandatory for all new school buildings to have sprinklers

:08:39.:08:43.

fitted. This is something we have got to address as a matter of

:08:44.:08:48.

urgency. Again, I hope the Minister, if he doesn't get the advice which I

:08:49.:08:57.

certainly want him to be given, I hope he will make a decision and

:08:58.:09:00.

recommended that all new school buildings have sprinklers fitted. I

:09:01.:09:13.

am grateful for his comments with regard to sprinklers systems in

:09:14.:09:14.

schools, but would he agree it is imperative that the regulations are

:09:15.:09:17.

changed to cover student accommodation? As I understand it,

:09:18.:09:22.

tower blocks above 30 metres will maybe fitted with sprinklers. But

:09:23.:09:27.

height does not qualify for height does not qualify for

:09:28.:09:31.

sprinklers. That cannot be right. I hope my friend would agree with me.

:09:32.:09:38.

I certainly do agree. The Minister has heard what has been said, as I

:09:39.:09:43.

understood every building over 30 metres must have sprinklers fitted.

:09:44.:09:47.

If the honourable member is right and he was at that meeting this

:09:48.:09:52.

morning, I hope at some stage when the Minister winds up, a note will

:09:53.:09:56.

be passed to determine whether the honourable member is right. As far

:09:57.:09:59.

as I understand, that cannot be the situation. The second point the

:10:00.:10:04.

committee agreed without prejudice to the public enquiry or the police

:10:05.:10:08.

criminal investigation, we want to support the recommendation of the

:10:09.:10:14.

coroners that Southampton are at the leg arising from the Lakanel housing

:10:15.:10:23.

block, whereby both coroners recommended in a letter to

:10:24.:10:24.

Secretary of State that the Secretary of State that the

:10:25.:10:30.

Department for Communities and Local Government encourages providers of

:10:31.:10:34.

housing in high risk residential buildings containing multiple

:10:35.:10:37.

domestic premises to consider the retrofitting of sprinklers. I hope

:10:38.:10:42.

my honourable friend will deal with that. In a letter to the then see LG

:10:43.:10:49.

Minister, which the committee wrote on the 1st of May 2014, we drew the

:10:50.:10:56.

Minister's attention to Ronnie King's personal involvement with the

:10:57.:11:02.

Lakanel house coroners inquest, whereby clarification was given from

:11:03.:11:06.

the department that the current building regulations allowed the

:11:07.:11:08.

composite panels under the external wall windows of such tower blocks

:11:09.:11:15.

not to have any fire resistance. This is absolutely crazy. This

:11:16.:11:21.

weakness in the regulations remains uncorrected today, despite the

:11:22.:11:27.

spread of fire which resulted in the deaths of six people. Under the

:11:28.:11:32.

current regulations, the external walls of tower blocks need only have

:11:33.:11:42.

a classification... The House would not expect the Minister to be an

:11:43.:11:44.

expert on all these matters. He has expert on all these matters. He has

:11:45.:11:50.

got to take advice from somewhere. I hope he understands the frustration

:11:51.:11:55.

from the all party Parliamentary fire safety committee's

:11:56.:11:58.

recommendations being ignored. This fire should never have happened. It

:11:59.:12:05.

should never have happened. If notice had been taken of the

:12:06.:12:09.

recommendations that were made. As I come to draw my remarks to a

:12:10.:12:13.

conclusion, Madam Deputy Speaker, the Home Office minister who is not

:12:14.:12:18.

in this place at the moment, said that we might be looking to system

:12:19.:12:23.

failure built up over many years, which we now how to address

:12:24.:12:27.

urgently. Over many years and perhaps against a backdrop which

:12:28.:12:32.

shows a reduced risk in terms of fire in terms of the number of

:12:33.:12:37.

incidents and deaths may be as a system some complacency has crept

:12:38.:12:42.

in. It certainly hasn't crept in as far as the all-party Parliamentary

:12:43.:12:47.

group is concerned. I don't know anything about the judge who has

:12:48.:12:55.

been appointed to lead the enquiry. I have heard of the Fire Brigade's

:12:56.:12:58.

union have talked a lot about the cuts to services and regulation of

:12:59.:13:05.

the fire safety. I hear you talking a lot about spring close. Would you

:13:06.:13:09.

agree that those cannot have failed to have an impact and we have

:13:10.:13:14.

happened on your watch? I am a bit disappointed about how many people

:13:15.:13:16.

are not on your benches for this debate. It is absolutely crucial and

:13:17.:13:24.

they should be here. Well, as far as the Fire Brigade's union is

:13:25.:13:31.

concerned, I know the general secretary and I am meeting him

:13:32.:13:36.

shortly to find out in further detail precisely what his criticisms

:13:37.:13:40.

are. I can assure the honourable member at the all-party

:13:41.:13:44.

Parliamentary fire safety group will raise any issues which the Fire

:13:45.:13:49.

Brigade's union mentions to us. As far as attendance on these benches

:13:50.:13:55.

are concerned, in time the honourable lady will have a view on

:13:56.:14:04.

attendance in this House. Going back a long time, all the benches were

:14:05.:14:11.

packed. I can only say that I regret that on this occasion, given that

:14:12.:14:16.

the general public can see this on the Parliamentary Channel, it is

:14:17.:14:21.

always disappointing when the chamber isn't packed. I am afraid

:14:22.:14:24.

over recent years that has been the trend. I am grateful to the

:14:25.:14:31.

honourable member. Have a further honourable member. Have a further

:14:32.:14:35.

house to my entry in a register of interest. On the Fire Brigade union,

:14:36.:14:40.

should they have participant status in the enquiry? The Minister will

:14:41.:14:46.

have heard what the honourable lady has said. I cannot believe there

:14:47.:14:56.

will not be very close involvement. I don't want to trip myself up if

:14:57.:15:00.

there has already been a discussion on the matter. But I certainly can't

:15:01.:15:08.

see why there can't be real participation in the enquiry,

:15:09.:15:11.

responds will take that particular responds will take that particular

:15:12.:15:18.

point up. Finally, Madam Deputy Speaker, if I say to my honourable

:15:19.:15:22.

friend the Minister that these are three points I really wish to

:15:23.:15:27.

highlight. Building regulations no longer include a requirement for one

:15:28.:15:32.

hour fire resistance for outside walls, as was required under the

:15:33.:15:38.

London building acts. That has got to be corrected. Firefighters were

:15:39.:15:44.

horrified in the way this particular disaster took place. The second

:15:45.:15:50.

point is the testing of cladding. It costs ?10,000 to five test a 30

:15:51.:15:56.

metre clouded wall. Most testing is done on the desktop, which doesn't

:15:57.:16:00.

take into account materials used underneath or between the cladding,

:16:01.:16:04.

such as wood. I hope my honourable friend will look at that point.

:16:05.:16:11.

Finally, the retrofitting of the past year in 100% of cases for

:16:12.:16:15.

sprinklers have activated the have controlled or extinguish the fire. I

:16:16.:16:22.

welcome the fact that there is to be a public enquiry and I say again to

:16:23.:16:27.

my honourable friend the Minister, do please note not only listen to

:16:28.:16:29.

the recommendations We have plenty of time for this

:16:30.:16:43.

debate. And there are a lot of people who wish to take part. I

:16:44.:16:49.

should also take the -- tell the House that I have notification of

:16:50.:16:53.

several new members who would like to make their maiden speeches. I

:16:54.:16:58.

would like to be able to manage without a formal time limit,

:16:59.:17:03.

especially for the benefit of those making maiden speeches, it is better

:17:04.:17:11.

not to have a time limit. We can manage this of people show restraint

:17:12.:17:16.

and thought for fellow members and speak for around nine minutes. That

:17:17.:17:24.

means calculate ten minutes and stop a bit early. It is amazing how

:17:25.:17:30.

difficult people find arithmetic once the run their feet. Everyone

:17:31.:17:39.

will have an opportunity to speak without a formal time limit. I know

:17:40.:17:46.

I can rely on Mr Clive Betts to do this perfectly. Thank you. This is

:17:47.:17:55.

the most appalling tragedy and I'm sure our hearts go out to everyone

:17:56.:18:03.

who lost their lives. And everyone who has been traumatised by this

:18:04.:18:10.

appalling event and are now homeless. The only good that can

:18:11.:18:14.

come out of this is if we learn lessons from this quickly and make

:18:15.:18:25.

sure it never happens again. I want to address the issue of funding. I

:18:26.:18:34.

was worried by the first Secretary's conditions he put on the funding

:18:35.:18:44.

that might be available. He said the government would fund any necessary

:18:45.:18:48.

safety work that was deemed necessary by the local authority.

:18:49.:18:55.

You then withdrew on that statement and said the government would fund

:18:56.:19:00.

it were the local authority could not afford it. That is an important

:19:01.:19:05.

condition. Will he explain precisely what that means, what the criteria

:19:06.:19:11.

are which will lead to government funding and whether local

:19:12.:19:14.

authorities will be asked to find themselves. We have to see this in

:19:15.:19:19.

the context of a local authority finances as a whole. This work to

:19:20.:19:32.

social housing will come out of the general revenue account. Funding for

:19:33.:19:39.

social housing was cut by 60% in 2010. There is not a penny of

:19:40.:19:43.

government money for either new social housing or four remedial work

:19:44.:19:51.

in social housing in the current spending round. Local authorities

:19:52.:19:54.

have been asked to find it all themselves. I thank him for giving

:19:55.:20:03.

way. On that point, is it his understanding that any works pay for

:20:04.:20:10.

at a local level will be paid for by tenants out of their rents? Does he

:20:11.:20:19.

also agree that the maintenance budgets for local authority housing

:20:20.:20:24.

have already been cut by 20% since 2010? Absolutely. That is the point

:20:25.:20:29.

I was going to come onto. The housing revenue account of courses

:20:30.:20:36.

funded for rent and in 2015 budget, the government decided rent would

:20:37.:20:42.

not rise by CBI plus 1% but would fall by 1% each year. It is

:20:43.:20:47.

estimated that will have a massive effect of many billions of pounds.

:20:48.:20:59.

Of course, they can borrow money, councils can borrow money, but that

:21:00.:21:02.

borrowing is capped by the government as well. So the

:21:03.:21:06.

government caps the rents and the government caps borrowing. To local

:21:07.:21:10.

authorities go to find the money to show they can afford to do this

:21:11.:21:16.

work? All they can do is to cut other planned expenditure on the

:21:17.:21:22.

maintenance of other social housing. Solving one problem will simply lead

:21:23.:21:25.

to other problems unless government is prepared to find the money.

:21:26.:21:31.

Simple as that. I hope the Minister will reflect seriously on this.

:21:32.:21:36.

Local authorities should not be having to show they can either not

:21:37.:21:40.

build a few social houses they were going to build and not going to cut

:21:41.:21:45.

back on maintenance programmes to prove they can afford to provide

:21:46.:21:50.

extra money to do the necessary work on tower blocks, but the government

:21:51.:21:53.

will come forward and say that all necessary work approved by them for

:21:54.:22:07.

extra work on tower blocks will be eligible for government money. That

:22:08.:22:12.

will solve an awful lot of concerns and difficulties in this debate. We

:22:13.:22:18.

simply have got to start viewing social housing differently. There is

:22:19.:22:25.

a tendency in the last few years to see social housing is proposing for

:22:26.:22:29.

poor people. And therefore anything will do for the people who live

:22:30.:22:34.

there are. And I have to say to ministers that is a bit reflected by

:22:35.:22:41.

the EPA to ski scheme which fortunately the government has now

:22:42.:22:45.

made voluntary for social housing landlords. In other words, those who

:22:46.:22:51.

can afford it should not be in social housing, I disagree, it is

:22:52.:22:55.

therefore those who need it. Secondly, the proposal to have the

:22:56.:23:00.

sale of high-value council assets. If council housing is good and

:23:01.:23:04.

decent, it shouldn't be council housing any longer. That is wrong as

:23:05.:23:09.

well. It seems to have been put on the back burner, this proposal, to

:23:10.:23:13.

find the right to buy for housing association tenants. Were going to

:23:14.:23:18.

have good quality social housing and it will remain as social housing for

:23:19.:23:22.

those who need it. That is something else the government can do. I come

:23:23.:23:29.

then to regulation. He is making a very good case. Can I add one more

:23:30.:23:37.

point, which is to say that where social housing is going to be used

:23:38.:23:42.

for tenants decanted in the case of Grenfell Tower or other examples,

:23:43.:23:47.

other types of housing is going to be used, that needs to be in place

:23:48.:23:52.

as well? Otherwise, we are again looking at a net loss of social

:23:53.:23:56.

housing. I think he makes an extremely powerful point. Government

:23:57.:24:05.

should be funding the replacement of social housing is well. In terms of

:24:06.:24:12.

regulation, we need an immediate review of fire regulations. That has

:24:13.:24:17.

been called for. I hope who has ever elected chair will take a lead with

:24:18.:24:31.

the new members elected. At times, it was like drawing teeth, getting

:24:32.:24:37.

ministers to agree to new regulations. I draw attention to the

:24:38.:24:41.

20 13th select committee hearing when the fire adviser came to us and

:24:42.:24:44.

was questioned very strongly with the Minister about the retrofitting

:24:45.:24:51.

of sprinklers. The Minister then said no and one of the reasons was

:24:52.:24:57.

that you could not have a new regulation unless two old

:24:58.:25:01.

regulations were taken off the statutes. What a nonsensical

:25:02.:25:06.

position. Regulations are either necessary or not. If regulations are

:25:07.:25:12.

necessary to keep people safe, they should be implemented without having

:25:13.:25:16.

to wait for two others to be cancelled. I am pleased my own

:25:17.:25:21.

authority in Sheffield has decided to retrofit sprinklers to all its

:25:22.:25:26.

tower blocks. Coming onto the issue of test for cladding, I know

:25:27.:25:29.

colleagues have made this point, it shouldn't just be the cladding

:25:30.:25:34.

tested in isolation, it has to be the insulation, fire stops, fire

:25:35.:25:37.

doors and everything else about the fire safety systems in a tower

:25:38.:25:45.

block. Sheffield has only found one instance where cladding has feel. If

:25:46.:25:49.

Fire Service has said that because of everything else in that block

:25:50.:25:54.

they believe the systems are safe for people to live there. I think

:25:55.:25:59.

Sheffield Council has done very well. They have had meetings with

:26:00.:26:06.

tenants. They have said if anyone wants to move temporarily, they can

:26:07.:26:11.

do, they have put a 24 hour far what in the block, but in the end the

:26:12.:26:15.

fire authority believes it is safe because of the cladding working with

:26:16.:26:18.

the installation, the fire stops and everything else. Some ministers will

:26:19.:26:24.

now look hopefully at extending the tests and encouraging local

:26:25.:26:26.

authorities to extend the tests beyond cladding to the whole issue

:26:27.:26:32.

of fire prevention in blocks. Finally, regarding Kensington and

:26:33.:26:35.

Chelsea, will the Minister explained to us why it is a task force and not

:26:36.:26:42.

commissioners? As a local list, commissioners should only be used in

:26:43.:26:49.

an extreme situation. But this is an extreme failure. After the Ariana

:26:50.:27:00.

Grande incident in Manchester, there was a first class response. What

:27:01.:27:10.

does the member think of the response after this incident? The

:27:11.:27:14.

government has admitted itself the response was not adequate. But why

:27:15.:27:24.

not commissioners? The task force will report to the Secretary of

:27:25.:27:28.

State but will not have executive powers. This is a recipe for another

:27:29.:27:32.

disaster. When you have mixed lines of accountability and no one is sure

:27:33.:27:36.

who is in power, that is exactly when things go wrong because no one

:27:37.:27:41.

is sure who is responsible, everyone is into everyone else, and when

:27:42.:27:45.

something happens everyone blames everyone else. Please learn lessons.

:27:46.:27:50.

Can we have an explanation about why commissioners have not been put in

:27:51.:27:55.

in this case? Now we have confusion rather than clarity. I would like to

:27:56.:28:03.

assure the honourable gentleman that I am following that if he wins the

:28:04.:28:07.

select committee chairmanship by one vote, that will have been mine.

:28:08.:28:13.

You're very welcome to it. On a more serious note, before I begin, I

:28:14.:28:17.

would like to declare an interest. As set out in the register of

:28:18.:28:27.

members interests, I am a director of a subsidiary of Hampshire Fire

:28:28.:28:32.

authority. It is created to help fund the gap by the shrinking grant

:28:33.:28:41.

for the Fire and Rescue Service. The directors are not remunerated. On 6

:28:42.:28:53.

April, a fire broke out in Southampton. I attended as chairman

:28:54.:29:00.

of the Hampshire Fire authority as crews battled to bring the fire

:29:01.:29:04.

under control. 100 people were arrested that night but it came at a

:29:05.:29:09.

great cost. Two firefighters who entered the tower block died after

:29:10.:29:14.

becoming tangled in falling electricity cables. They lost their

:29:15.:29:21.

lives while trying to save others. Alan Bannon and Jim Shearer is

:29:22.:29:24.

demonstrated the very best of emergency services and are very much

:29:25.:29:31.

missed by everyone who knew them. That fire happened in 2010. The

:29:32.:29:39.

inquest included in 2012. The coroner issued his letter in April

:29:40.:29:48.

2013. In the letter, the coroner recommended that social housing

:29:49.:29:52.

providers should be encouraged to consider the retrofitting of

:29:53.:29:56.

sprinklers in all existing high-rise buildings in excess of 30 metres in

:29:57.:30:01.

height. Particularly those identified by Fire And Rescue

:30:02.:30:05.

Services as having complex designs that make firefighting more

:30:06.:30:13.

hazardous and or more difficult. After the coroner made his

:30:14.:30:17.

recommendations, Southampton City Council committee to retrofit

:30:18.:30:23.

sprinklers in three high-rise tower blocks. However, as weeks and months

:30:24.:30:27.

passed, there was no move to actually carry out the work. I have

:30:28.:30:32.

to cancel over and over again and was always given assurances report

:30:33.:30:36.

was about to be written or funds were being made available but

:30:37.:30:40.

nothing actually happened. Months and years pass and then finally in

:30:41.:30:45.

February 2015 Southampton City Council approve the Cabinet report

:30:46.:30:48.

which said it will commit ?100 million of housing revenue money to

:30:49.:30:56.

retrofit three blocks. Surely towers were the fire was, and two others,

:30:57.:31:03.

one of which is in my constituency. Two and a half years after

:31:04.:31:10.

allocating the funds, those sprinklers are still not installed.

:31:11.:31:17.

Coincidentally, the Labour Cabinet member with responsibility for

:31:18.:31:21.

housing in Southampton has assured me it is a coincidence, the is

:31:22.:31:25.

Brinkley 's which were promised would be installed on some of the

:31:26.:31:28.

most vulnerable blocks over two years ago will soon be fitted. Or at

:31:29.:31:37.

least that's what I have been told. The Leader of the Opposition will be

:31:38.:31:41.

visiting Southampton on Saturday. I hope that while he is there he will

:31:42.:31:46.

ask the leader of the Labour-controlled council, who was

:31:47.:31:49.

also the Labour candidate in the last general election, why he has

:31:50.:31:54.

not acted on the corner's recommendations and carried out the

:31:55.:31:56.

retrofit of sprinklers in the city's high-rise flats. I hope that on his

:31:57.:32:03.

visit he will explain to the residents of those terrors why he

:32:04.:32:08.

and his Shadow Chancellor has sought to politicise the tragedy of

:32:09.:32:13.

silent when it comes to silent when it comes to

:32:14.:32:16.

Labour-controlled Southampton failure to act on the corner's

:32:17.:32:19.

recommendations despite promising those residents they would do so. Mr

:32:20.:32:27.

Speaker, Madam Deputy Speaker, I am confident or more likely hopeful

:32:28.:32:33.

that Southampton will, seven years after the terror fire, retrofit

:32:34.:32:42.

sprinklers to our tower blocks. The reason for repainting these events

:32:43.:32:46.

is not for political point scoring...

:32:47.:32:48.

LAUGHTER They may laugh, that is what they

:32:49.:32:53.

have done from the date this tragic event took place. I am not doing

:32:54.:32:58.

this for political point scoring in the way that Labour have sought to

:32:59.:33:05.

do so. I am doing it for a really important reason, when the inquiry

:33:06.:33:09.

into the Grenfell tragedy has concluded and we know what happened,

:33:10.:33:13.

how it happened, why it happened, the recommendations from that

:33:14.:33:21.

inquiry must be accepted. The Government must act on those

:33:22.:33:25.

recommendations. They must not allow it to drift for a year after year in

:33:26.:33:30.

the way it has been allowed to do in a Southampton. In the years since

:33:31.:33:39.

Shirley Towers, there have been dozens of fires in the Southampton's

:33:40.:33:44.

tower blocks. Is it one of those had turned out like Grenfell or Shirley

:33:45.:33:47.

Towers, there would be nowhere for the local authority to hide and they

:33:48.:33:54.

would be no excuses. He might make a more convincing case if you didn't

:33:55.:33:59.

see it all from one particular vantage point. He says action after

:34:00.:34:03.

this inquiry, do you not agree action should have been taken before

:34:04.:34:08.

and explain why Government ministers did not make recommendations in

:34:09.:34:10.

relation to retrofitting sprinklers relation to retrofitting

:34:11.:34:12.

after that, despite what the coroner after that, despite what the coroner

:34:13.:34:18.

said in his letter? As I understand it, and as I said, it was a

:34:19.:34:22.

recommendation people should encourage the use of sprinklers. The

:34:23.:34:25.

difference with Southampton and the local committee were committed to

:34:26.:34:31.

doing it and Southampton did not do it. There implies the difference. As

:34:32.:34:36.

I said, if one of those fires in those dozens of fires that have

:34:37.:34:40.

happened in tower blocks since Shirley Towers in Southampton had

:34:41.:34:44.

turned out like Grenfell or Shirley Towers there would be nowhere to

:34:45.:34:48.

hide. If the Government fails to act on the findings of the Grenfell

:34:49.:34:52.

Tower inquiry, we will have nowhere to hide either and the public will

:34:53.:35:01.

never forgive us. To make her maiden speech... Madam Deputy Speaker,

:35:02.:35:10.

thank you for this opportunity to address the House and make my maiden

:35:11.:35:14.

speech today. As a London MP, I am grateful for the chance to speak in

:35:15.:35:17.

the debate about the tragedy of Grenfell Tower. It is an honour and

:35:18.:35:24.

a privilege to be elected to represent Lewisham west and pains,

:35:25.:35:28.

the area that I love. I was raised and went to primary school there,

:35:29.:35:37.

and I went to secondary school in Penge. I am glad to call it home. If

:35:38.:35:42.

anybody told me I would go on to become an MP for my area, I would

:35:43.:35:47.

have laughed. Society never seem to have much aspiration for girls from

:35:48.:35:51.

my school and we were all too often written off. But I am here and my

:35:52.:35:55.

sister, the honourable member for Leeds West is here, so as my former

:35:56.:35:59.

English teacher said during the general election campaign, my school

:36:00.:36:05.

now has almost as many a long lie in this place as Eton.

:36:06.:36:08.

LAUGHTER -- alum now. Our constituency is a

:36:09.:36:15.

collection of the strong south-east London communities around Forest

:36:16.:36:20.

Hills, Bellingham and signum within Lewisham. Since 2010, it has taken

:36:21.:36:26.

in the bustle of Penge high Street, the suburban calm of lock ayes and

:36:27.:36:30.

the splendour of Crystal Palace Park, including its legendary

:36:31.:36:36.

dinosaurs. IMB 12 member to serve. I have a Lewisham Western Penge... I

:36:37.:36:43.

feel privileged to be the first woman to represent my constituency,

:36:44.:36:48.

99 years after it was created, the same year as the representation of

:36:49.:36:52.

the people act and the first election in which women could vote.

:36:53.:36:58.

My predecessor represented the constituency for 25 years and has

:36:59.:37:03.

devoted more than 40 years of his life to public service. Both in this

:37:04.:37:09.

House and an Lewisham Council. A lifelong resident of S E 23, Jim

:37:10.:37:15.

stood up for our local services and good jobs and he represented his

:37:16.:37:18.

constituents with conviction on national issues. He held a range of

:37:19.:37:23.

positions both in Government and opposition. And used his position to

:37:24.:37:30.

further causes that were important to him. Especially his love of

:37:31.:37:35.

animals and their welfare, even his general election literature from

:37:36.:37:40.

2015 included a picture of him shaking hands with a giant cat.

:37:41.:37:48.

LAUGHTER Previously a bellwether seat, Jim

:37:49.:37:51.

and those who helped run the local party have helped turn Lewisham

:37:52.:37:56.

Western Penge into a strong Labour seat whilst never taking anything

:37:57.:38:01.

for granted. It is in part thanks to them and their hard work but I am

:38:02.:38:06.

able to stand here now as their representatives in Parliament. Jim

:38:07.:38:12.

has been a good friend to me and my family. His support has been

:38:13.:38:15.

immeasurable and I know he will be greatly missed in this place. Madam

:38:16.:38:22.

Deputy Speaker, the enormous loss of life at Grenfell Tower and the

:38:23.:38:26.

preventable tragedy of what happened there has cast a shadow over the

:38:27.:38:31.

first few weeks of this Parliament. Hearing stories of the events that

:38:32.:38:37.

night, it was hard to hold back tears, the unimaginable horror of a

:38:38.:38:41.

mother throwing a baby from a tenth floor window still haunts me. The

:38:42.:38:46.

inquiry must never happen quickly, transparently and with the full

:38:47.:38:50.

inclusion of the victims. What seems clear to me is that what happened

:38:51.:38:55.

there and in the aftermath is symptomatic of a system that is

:38:56.:38:59.

broken, a system that neglects the poor and from the box, a system

:39:00.:39:04.

where cost effectiveness seems to have been put before a health and

:39:05.:39:07.

safety, and a system that I have come into this place to change.

:39:08.:39:13.

Madam Deputy Speaker, around the time it Jim would have been making

:39:14.:39:17.

his maiden speech, I was at secondary school in the

:39:18.:39:21.

constituency. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, we had lessons in hearts,

:39:22.:39:26.

class sizes of 35 and not enough books to go around. As the daughter

:39:27.:39:32.

of two teachers, I knew that teachers were undervalued and

:39:33.:39:36.

underpaid. My parents are here today and I am thankful for the values and

:39:37.:39:43.

for the support they have given me. It was my experiences growing up

:39:44.:39:47.

that made me want to stand up and fight to end inequality and to make

:39:48.:39:51.

sure every child gets the best chance in life, no matter what their

:39:52.:39:56.

wealth or background. I am saddened to say that all schools in my

:39:57.:40:01.

constituency are facing funding cuts, and our wonderful boys

:40:02.:40:06.

comprehensive Forest Hills School is ?1.3 million in deficit. I made a

:40:07.:40:10.

promise to my constituents that I would fight hard for our schools and

:40:11.:40:15.

our young people and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Madam Deputy

:40:16.:40:19.

Speaker, and other issue I want to fight for in this place is defending

:40:20.:40:25.

workplace rights. Before entering Parliament, I was an employment

:40:26.:40:29.

rights lawyer for more than a decade, representing working people

:40:30.:40:34.

day in day out. I know first-hand how many of our employment rights

:40:35.:40:38.

come from Europe, such as paid holiday, limits on working time and

:40:39.:40:43.

many of our discrimination laws. I will fight tooth and nail to fight

:40:44.:40:47.

any compromise of those rights as we negotiate Britain's exit from the

:40:48.:40:52.

EU. But we need to go further than that and create a secure workplace

:40:53.:40:57.

and decent wages by banning few hours contracts and raising the

:40:58.:41:01.

national minimum wage. I was at a food bank in my constituency on

:41:02.:41:05.

Friday and it is an absolute travesty that people are having to

:41:06.:41:08.

make a choice whether to feed their children or feed themselves. An

:41:09.:41:15.

issue close to my heart is maternity discrimination. After the birth of

:41:16.:41:18.

my son, I said to be business to provide pregnancy the and flexible

:41:19.:41:22.

working advice to mums and families. I want to work to ensure all jobs

:41:23.:41:28.

are flexible by default and that all parents can take parental leave

:41:29.:41:31.

without fear of discrimination or of the loss of their job. I believe

:41:32.:41:39.

that a first-rate education, excellent health care, decent

:41:40.:41:41.

housing and proper employment rights are essential to the prosperity of

:41:42.:41:46.

us all. Rather than condemn our constituents to a race to the

:41:47.:41:50.

bottom, we must offer them hope and ensure that our country is able to

:41:51.:41:55.

thrive, advance in progress whilst no one is left behind. Thank you

:41:56.:42:04.

very much. Thank you. May I begin by congratulating the honourable lady

:42:05.:42:08.

for an Lewisham West and Penge for such a powerful and articulate a

:42:09.:42:12.

maiden speech. It is clear she will be a forceful and effective advocate

:42:13.:42:16.

for her constituency, her sister can be proud, purse late-night

:42:17.:42:20.

appearance can be proud and her constituents watching on TV can be

:42:21.:42:25.

proud. I congratulate her. I wanted to say a few words today about the

:42:26.:42:28.

public inquiry into this dreadful tragedy. At the risk of stating the

:42:29.:42:36.

obvious, it is vitally important of course it is carried out with

:42:37.:42:38.

absolute impartiality, without fear absolute impartiality, without fear

:42:39.:42:42.

or favour and motivated by a dogged determination to get to the truth

:42:43.:42:46.

for ever it may like and how convenient or inconvenient that may

:42:47.:42:51.

be. It is precisely because of those fundamental principles that I think

:42:52.:42:58.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick is the right man for the job, notwithstanding

:42:59.:43:00.

some of the Commons that may have been made. Let me be clear, I don't

:43:01.:43:05.

know Sir Martin, I have never met him. But I do know the Court of

:43:06.:43:09.

Appeal where he served with great distinction and I have appeared

:43:10.:43:12.

there as an advocate on more occasions than I care to remember. I

:43:13.:43:19.

can say with my hand on my heart, it is the jewel of the British

:43:20.:43:23.

constitution. There are some of the most brilliant brains in the country

:43:24.:43:27.

perhaps more importantly, is allied perhaps more importantly, is allied

:43:28.:43:30.

with absolute and ferocious independence. I am sorry to say

:43:31.:43:36.

"aye" have lost in the Court of Appeal for more times than I have

:43:37.:43:39.

one, but it is the most powerful tribute I can pay to the Court of

:43:40.:43:42.

Appeal that I have left understanding the reasons and

:43:43.:43:45.

acknowledging the fairness and integrity they have brought to the

:43:46.:43:49.

process. That's why I want to address what appears to be a

:43:50.:43:55.

troubling insinuation that might be being made, that as an educated man

:43:56.:44:02.

with a title, that he is somehow in eligible. Let me be clear, in every

:44:03.:44:06.

system of law you don't get to that position by being nice to be

:44:07.:44:10.

Government. You get to that position were often than not by being a

:44:11.:44:12.

nuisance, by holding the Government nuisance, by holding the Government

:44:13.:44:15.

back when it overreaches itself and holding them fiercely to account.

:44:16.:44:22.

The legal culture in this country is that the greatest accolade you can

:44:23.:44:26.

pay to a judge is that he or she is fairer. The Court of Appeal has that

:44:27.:44:33.

in spades, Sir Martin has that in spades. We owe it to the victims to

:44:34.:44:42.

let him get on with the job. Thank you. Can I begin by paying tribute

:44:43.:44:52.

to my honourable friend the member for Lewisham West and Penge. She

:44:53.:44:56.

made an eloquent speech. She is clearly going to fill the shoes of

:44:57.:45:01.

her predecessor very eloquently. He was one of the more outstanding

:45:02.:45:06.

members on the backbenches here. I remember him for many reasons, not

:45:07.:45:12.

all for his Parliamentary approach to debate. He was a forthright

:45:13.:45:20.

advocate on behalf of his constituents. I can remember when he

:45:21.:45:28.

was my weapon, I remember him with a great deal of affection then as

:45:29.:45:42.

well. We finished on good terms. Madam Deputy Speaker, this is an

:45:43.:45:47.

absolute tragedy. I want to associate myself with all the

:45:48.:45:51.

comments made by people about the first responders and emergency

:45:52.:45:58.

services to some of the offices of Kensington and Chelsea Council who

:45:59.:46:01.

went above and beyond the call of duty to try and respond to the needs

:46:02.:46:08.

of local people. That is sometimes overlooked. There were individuals

:46:09.:46:12.

who did an enormous amount of work which we need to recognise. Of

:46:13.:46:16.

course, the people who were affected by the tragedy.

:46:17.:46:22.

This exposed a complete failure from government right the way through to

:46:23.:46:32.

local government. It exposed that when local authorities reduced the

:46:33.:46:36.

resources in terms of their manpower and the services they can provide to

:46:37.:46:41.

a point where there are so thin that they cannot respond in these

:46:42.:46:46.

circumstances then it is quite clear that we are going too far with

:46:47.:46:55.

reductions in investment in what is needed to support local communities.

:46:56.:46:59.

There is more to a council van just a posh town hall. It is what is in

:47:00.:47:06.

it that really counts. And when prides itself on being able to give

:47:07.:47:11.

a ?100 council tax rebate in the run-up to local elections then that

:47:12.:47:21.

council leaves itself with few resources to respond in the

:47:22.:47:26.

circumstances and it takes what has to be described as a minimalist

:47:27.:47:31.

approach to backing up those services, and also prides itself

:47:32.:47:35.

first and foremost on how little it spends, then it is no wonder that

:47:36.:47:40.

you have no resilience when a tragedy like this happens. And one

:47:41.:47:43.

of the things that we have to last the enquiry to look into is why it

:47:44.:47:48.

was, because this is a tragedy that would have overwhelmed most if not

:47:49.:47:55.

all local authorities, it was a huge demand on local resources that were

:47:56.:48:00.

made, they would have needed the assistance of other local

:48:01.:48:02.

authorities to step in and support them. So the question has to be, why

:48:03.:48:09.

Windows offers of request were coming in in the first 24 hours did

:48:10.:48:13.

Kensington and Chelsea Council not get back to respond to offers of

:48:14.:48:18.

help? I know my local authority has not only been dealing with the

:48:19.:48:22.

concerns that are coming from our local residents were living in tower

:48:23.:48:26.

blocks and wanting to know that they are safe and having to use their

:48:27.:48:32.

communications and housing officers and councillors to go and talk to

:48:33.:48:36.

residents to reassure them to carry out the fire safety checks and

:48:37.:48:39.

everything else, but at the same time they have also been providing

:48:40.:48:43.

support to Kensington and Chelsea. It's quite clear that there was

:48:44.:48:48.

something fundamentally wrong at the heart of Kensington and Chelsea in

:48:49.:48:53.

the way they responded to those offers of help. Members of the

:48:54.:48:59.

community spontaneously got themselves together and responded to

:49:00.:49:03.

the needs of those local people. There are also some lessons we could

:49:04.:49:09.

have learned along the way. The chair of the fire safety all-party

:49:10.:49:15.

group has mentioned lessons could have been learnt. It is not just

:49:16.:49:19.

Lakanal Rebecca Downie weren't lessons. There have been incidents

:49:20.:49:23.

in other countries when exactly the same type of aluminium cladding has

:49:24.:49:30.

caused a rapid spread of fire, one that took place in 2014 in Melbourne

:49:31.:49:38.

in Australia. The photographs of this that or on the internet and

:49:39.:49:46.

have been recorded in the media are almost identical to the fire that

:49:47.:49:53.

took place at Grenfell Tower. What is surprising about this is when you

:49:54.:50:01.

talk to experts in this field, fire safety officers and others, they

:50:02.:50:04.

were aware of this fire and the knew the significance of this fire and

:50:05.:50:07.

the lessons that should have been learned about this type of cladding

:50:08.:50:11.

at that time. And what is remarkable is there doesn't seem to be any

:50:12.:50:14.

knowledge of this coming from the government or any review of the

:50:15.:50:19.

materials used for tower blocks at that time because other countries

:50:20.:50:24.

did take action. They took steps to ban this type of cladding being used

:50:25.:50:32.

on tower blocks. There are some questions that come from this. One

:50:33.:50:38.

is this issue of sprinkler systems which I will come to. In the case of

:50:39.:50:43.

the tower in Melbourne, there was a sprinkler system in place, 500

:50:44.:50:47.

people were evacuated from that block, no-one died and the reason

:50:48.:50:51.

they got out safely was because there was a sprinkler in place. In

:50:52.:50:58.

some parts of the building, the sprinkler system was overcome by

:50:59.:51:04.

fire, but it was still sufficient to allow people to leave. The question

:51:05.:51:16.

has to be asked why the government has not been learning lessons. I

:51:17.:51:22.

would ask the enquiry to look into that. In addition, some countries

:51:23.:51:30.

have taken steps to limit the number of people who can live at height

:51:31.:51:36.

within tower blocks of certain designs. I would also ask the

:51:37.:51:40.

enquiry to look into that. Are the regulations that we need to take to

:51:41.:51:44.

try to limit the number of people who live in tower blocks at height

:51:45.:51:51.

because this again was an issue in the Melbourne fire where there were

:51:52.:51:58.

so many people due to shortage of housing and housing costs, there

:51:59.:52:02.

were so many people crammed into units in that tower block because

:52:03.:52:06.

that is something we need to have a fire regulation and I would ask the

:52:07.:52:11.

enquiry to look into that. I am grateful to him for giving way. When

:52:12.:52:18.

I met with Sheffield local authority, they expressed concerns

:52:19.:52:23.

of individuals living in flats above takeaways and other commercial

:52:24.:52:26.

premises as well. That often share the same kitchen and backroom as

:52:27.:52:36.

commercial premises and often are overcrowded with illegal immigrants

:52:37.:52:40.

and overcrowding. It is something we have to look at. In another

:52:41.:52:46.

situation, the numbers of people in a block could become an issue. We

:52:47.:52:52.

don't know that wasn't an issue here as well. Another thing the enquiry

:52:53.:52:56.

must look at is the issue raised by my honourable friend the chair of

:52:57.:52:59.

the select committee about building control. There are a number of

:53:00.:53:06.

issues here about enforcement and making regular checks only the work

:53:07.:53:14.

that is being undertaken during refurbishment. Are fire blocks in

:53:15.:53:20.

place in between for us? The advice I'm getting from a constituent of

:53:21.:53:24.

mine who is an expert and has been in the media and speaking on this

:53:25.:53:29.

issue and has done so for many years, he is saying we are very

:53:30.:53:33.

relaxed about the enforcement of fire blocks between the floors and

:53:34.:53:37.

around windows and we need to ensure that there is proper enforcement of

:53:38.:53:44.

this. Again, I think this is an area that the enquiry should look into.

:53:45.:53:48.

Also, this issue about being able to appoint your own building control.

:53:49.:53:56.

This is a responsibility that must be with the local authority. There

:53:57.:53:59.

must be clear lines of responsibility. We must do away with

:54:00.:54:04.

this situation be local authorities are really put to the sidelines over

:54:05.:54:14.

insuring safety standards are of the utmost importance when these schemes

:54:15.:54:20.

are going head. Does he agree with me that it is also a scandal that

:54:21.:54:26.

building control does not require any minimum qualifications to enter

:54:27.:54:31.

into being a building control practitioner? Is this not something

:54:32.:54:34.

he would agree we need urgent action on? Fightback absolutely. An

:54:35.:54:40.

incident like this shows that you must have a basic knowledge of fire

:54:41.:54:47.

safety regulations. There are many other issues that building control

:54:48.:54:53.

have to cover. Of course you must have a minimum requirement of

:54:54.:54:56.

qualifications, it goes without saying. I want to come back quickly

:54:57.:55:02.

to this issue or sprinklers because it makes absolutely no sense that we

:55:03.:55:08.

have a situation where new blocks built to new building standards over

:55:09.:55:16.

30 metres high are required to have a sprinkler system installed. Of

:55:17.:55:23.

older buildings built to an older standard of building control are not

:55:24.:55:28.

required to retrofit. That is completely and utterly illogical. It

:55:29.:55:35.

must be no outside of the enquiry and everything else that the

:55:36.:55:38.

government now accept that we have to fund, and the government has to

:55:39.:55:45.

fund it, the retrofitting of sprinklers into those blocks of

:55:46.:55:49.

flats where the recommended by fire safety officers. This fire shows

:55:50.:55:57.

that that is essential and that should be done. The government

:55:58.:56:02.

should just move ahead on that and accept that that is something that

:56:03.:56:11.

we cannot hold back on. On the issue of cladding, we are told there was a

:56:12.:56:17.

plan to pit fireproof cladding on but it was ?2 per square metre more

:56:18.:56:26.

expensive than the cheaper version. If that is correct, obviously the

:56:27.:56:31.

enquiry will have something to say about that. But there are some

:56:32.:56:35.

questions here. This type of cladding was already on other blocks

:56:36.:56:40.

were similar fires had taken place. Why was it allowed to be used on

:56:41.:56:45.

that block? Is it true that the contractors that were actually

:56:46.:56:48.

erecting the cladding at the time raised concerns about whether they

:56:49.:56:59.

should actually be put -- putting cladding on a block of that height.

:57:00.:57:03.

If that is true, action must be taken against the people who made

:57:04.:57:08.

that decision. I will not give way because I have taken up some time. I

:57:09.:57:17.

have had the nod from the Speaker. If I don't sit down quite soon I

:57:18.:57:24.

won't get cold again, so clearly action must be taken on that. One

:57:25.:57:31.

final question I have the Minister really is about the building

:57:32.:57:34.

regulation advisory committee. We were told in the report into Lakanal

:57:35.:57:45.

that the committee would meet to oversee fire regulations but that

:57:46.:57:48.

did not take place. The Minister said it would be completed by the

:57:49.:57:53.

end of this year. It has not yet met. And mini digger from the

:57:54.:57:58.

Minister why that is. Why it is in the face of the report from Lakanal

:57:59.:58:03.

that that committee did not meet to review those fire regulations

:58:04.:58:10.

because in my opinion I think that that is the government asleep on the

:58:11.:58:15.

job. To conclude, I hope the enquiry when it reports will learn the

:58:16.:58:21.

lessons from this once and for all. Lakanal should have told us the

:58:22.:58:24.

steps we should have taken to prevent this. Fires that have taken

:58:25.:58:27.

place since Lakanal in other countries were pointing the way to

:58:28.:58:32.

the action we should've taken. Once and for all, we have two insure this

:58:33.:58:42.

type of tragedy never happens again. Would like to extend congratulations

:58:43.:58:48.

to the new member for Lewisham West. It feels strange to be welcoming you

:58:49.:58:52.

because I've only just arrived myself. It was a wonderful speech

:58:53.:58:57.

and I look forward to working with her in future. I greatly enjoyed

:58:58.:59:05.

giving my own maiden speech. But it gives me no pleasure to speak to the

:59:06.:59:11.

House about this terrible tragedy. I'm afraid to say it will be one of

:59:12.:59:15.

those disasters that marks this period in our history and we will

:59:16.:59:18.

remember for a very long period to come. I think the Prime Minister has

:59:19.:59:25.

responded to it entirely appropriately by calling for a judge

:59:26.:59:35.

led enquiry. I was very pleased that the Shadow Secretary of State didn't

:59:36.:59:37.

question the fundamental basis on which we intend to proceed. Further

:59:38.:59:44.

to go to the Lord Chief Justice and ask for a very senior judge to be

:59:45.:59:47.

appointed and proceed with an enquiry which will look into the

:59:48.:59:51.

immediate causes of the fire but also the wider issues. As my

:59:52.:59:57.

honourable friend the Member for North East Hertfordshire said

:59:58.:00:01.

earlier, that actually gives the enquiry the opportunity to report

:00:02.:00:07.

perhaps in two stages or perhaps in several stages so that local

:00:08.:00:12.

residents can hear some of the issues that affected them

:00:13.:00:17.

immediately whilst the enquiry goes on to consider broader questions

:00:18.:00:20.

which affect communities and councils in many areas across the

:00:21.:00:26.

country. With reference to wider issues, I would like to see a few

:00:27.:00:31.

remarks. And I do so sort of declaring an interest in that I was

:00:32.:00:35.

for a while on the board of a housing association in the West of

:00:36.:00:38.

England of the Arlington Housing group. The first thing that has

:00:39.:00:50.

struck me is something that came out of a BBC Newsnight investigation

:00:51.:00:53.

which suggests that developers may have used desk -based research and

:00:54.:01:01.

only desk -based research to persuade inspectors that the

:01:02.:01:07.

cladding concerned was safe to use. If that is the case, then there are

:01:08.:01:11.

serious questions to answer following the tragedy and we want to

:01:12.:01:17.

know I'm sure where that has happened elsewhere in the country as

:01:18.:01:18.

well. I think about tenants feedback. If

:01:19.:01:28.

the reports that have come to light our that tenants were complaining to

:01:29.:01:34.

their management organisation about safety in the building and those

:01:35.:01:40.

calls were not being listened to, again, we need to know why. We need

:01:41.:01:48.

to know why the DMO was not picking up on that very important feedback

:01:49.:01:51.

that only someone who lives in the building can give. I'm not saying

:01:52.:01:55.

that if it had been listened to it could have prevented the fire, but

:01:56.:01:59.

without feedback you are going to put people in other buildings at

:02:00.:02:03.

risk. Of that I am sure we can be certain. This brings me onto my next

:02:04.:02:11.

point, the issue of illegal sub tenants, illegal subletting is. It

:02:12.:02:16.

is a very delicate and sensitive subject and the Government has been

:02:17.:02:21.

absolutely right to create an dot-mac and Amazon need to encourage

:02:22.:02:24.

everyone to seek help and to come forward. To seek amnesty. We're you

:02:25.:02:34.

have illegal subletting, it really, really discourages people living in

:02:35.:02:37.

that building to come forward and report their concerns. It breaks the

:02:38.:02:42.

feedback. We all have to think about ways in which we can ensure that

:02:43.:02:48.

people living in social housing in this country can come forward and

:02:49.:02:53.

have their concerns heard. My fourth point relates to something I said in

:02:54.:02:59.

the house the other day. It has been picked up on by a couple of other

:03:00.:03:04.

members. What happens in Kensington and Chelsea begs serious questions

:03:05.:03:08.

about emergency and contingency planning in our local authorities.

:03:09.:03:14.

Just as some other local authorities have used the cladding which seems

:03:15.:03:17.

to have been a major contributor towards the spire, other local

:03:18.:03:22.

authorities may have contingency or a emergency planning that leaves a

:03:23.:03:27.

reassured by the Secretary of reassured by the Secretary

:03:28.:03:29.

State's comments that the Cabinet State's comments that the Cabinet

:03:30.:03:32.

officers are already looking into this. The acumen this work is taken

:03:33.:03:36.

forward. I would just like to reflect on something that the

:03:37.:03:41.

said. He said I am glad we appear to said. He said I am glad we appear to

:03:42.:03:45.

be in agreement that we should have the joint lead inquiry. I was also

:03:46.:03:51.

very pleased that the Shadow Secretary of State did not criticise

:03:52.:03:58.

Sir Martin. That is much to be welcomed. He is a highly respected

:03:59.:04:04.

judge. He has achieved great things in his profession, dealing with

:04:05.:04:07.

extremely complex areas of law which will reap relevant to this inquiry.

:04:08.:04:12.

That is an asset to the investigation that is going to take

:04:13.:04:17.

place. We should all welcome it. His ability to do that work is not

:04:18.:04:22.

hampered by the colour of his skin and he is not hampered by his social

:04:23.:04:29.

class. His skills have gotten to where and it is his skills skills we

:04:30.:04:34.

should back. This inquiry is going to require some very cool headed

:04:35.:04:40.

thinking. It will not be helped by hot remarks that suggest to victims

:04:41.:04:43.

and their families they were intentionally killed by people in

:04:44.:04:49.

Government. It will not be held by remarks that suggest someone's

:04:50.:04:52.

impartiality is undermined because of their social class. We all have a

:04:53.:05:00.

duty to get behind this inquiry whilst seeking to debate its

:05:01.:05:04.

particulars. But to get behind this inquiry and encourage people to live

:05:05.:05:07.

in the area and other terror blocks to come forward and be part of it.

:05:08.:05:17.

To make her maiden speech... Thank you. Can I congratulate you on your

:05:18.:05:22.

election. It is a privilege to make my maiden speech but it is sobering

:05:23.:05:27.

to do so in a two-day's debate on Grenfell which reminds us all of the

:05:28.:05:31.

seriousness of our duties as members of this House. I am pleased to

:05:32.:05:35.

follow my honourable friend the member for Lewisham west who has

:05:36.:05:39.

also made her maiden speech today. I would like to begin by paying

:05:40.:05:45.

tribute to my predecessor, the son of a railwayman, he has been true to

:05:46.:05:50.

campaigner for Barnsley East, on campaigner for Barnsley East, on

:05:51.:05:53.

issues like immunity for Mrs and brass bands. For all of his

:05:54.:05:59.

achievements, he has been awarded with that rare accolade of featuring

:06:00.:06:04.

on the wall of the strangers bar, back to the wall than the floor.

:06:05.:06:13.

LAUGHTER Music is his passion and know it at

:06:14.:06:18.

his job as chief executive of UK music. I know family is important to

:06:19.:06:22.

him and I wish him and joke very well with their new adventure. I

:06:23.:06:29.

would like to mention his predecessor, who served as leader of

:06:30.:06:33.

Barnsley Council, MP for Barnsley East and now as the mayor of

:06:34.:06:38.

Barnsley, a unique achievement. Before entering this place, I was a

:06:39.:06:43.

teacher. Working in education I saw the profound power of learning and I

:06:44.:06:48.

have learnt that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the next

:06:49.:06:53.

generation. I am proud to be the first female MP for Barnsley East. I

:06:54.:06:59.

would not be here without the help and encouragement of a former female

:07:00.:07:02.

member, Madam Deputy Speaker, you will remember who sat in the Euro

:07:03.:07:08.

chair for many years, I am delighted she is here today along with my

:07:09.:07:12.

parents. I am the daughter of a midwife and a care worker and I owe

:07:13.:07:15.

them huge thanks for all of their support. For the last four years, I

:07:16.:07:20.

have been proud to fight for working people as an officer of the GMB

:07:21.:07:26.

trade union. As a member of this House I will continue that fight for

:07:27.:07:30.

working people, not least for the many jobs that are more precarious

:07:31.:07:35.

than ever before. Today's debate reminds us of what we have fought

:07:36.:07:39.

for over so many years and how the lessons of the past are still as

:07:40.:07:44.

relevant today. Even now, not all committees are equal and the

:07:45.:07:47.

protection of human life requires our action in this House. Many

:07:48.:07:53.

people will know about Barnsley's history and there is so much to be

:07:54.:07:57.

proud of, but I still have constituents waiting for justice for

:07:58.:08:01.

what happened to them is at or agreed in 84. We must ensure the

:08:02.:08:05.

Grenfell victims do not wait as long. In Barnsley East, our heritage

:08:06.:08:20.

runs along that dot-mac alongside. Our communities were built on heavy

:08:21.:08:24.

industry, glass, steel and coal. Mining with the way of life for

:08:25.:08:29.

entire communities, 30,000 people worked down the pits and the impact

:08:30.:08:34.

of their last is still felt today. Many of my honourable friends will

:08:35.:08:39.

know my constituency from the film Last Off. It should the character,

:08:40.:08:47.

grit, humour and solidarity, with honest, decent, hard-working people.

:08:48.:08:51.

Those who have seen the film will not be able to forget Danny's

:08:52.:08:55.

powerful speech, where he says nothing matter like people matter.

:08:56.:08:59.

It is traditional stock of the great history of your constituency any

:09:00.:09:02.

maiden speech. I am very proud to do so. Nothing matters like people

:09:03.:09:07.

matter. It is above all the people of finally East to make the

:09:08.:09:11.

constituency what it is, people like the teaching assistants, her pay

:09:12.:09:18.

following that her bills rising. She looks after our children, we should

:09:19.:09:24.

look after her. People like the insecure workouts, she works hard

:09:25.:09:27.

for her family, we should work just as hard for her. People like the

:09:28.:09:32.

veteran who served his country yet is now homeless and jobless. He

:09:33.:09:35.

fought for us, we should fight for him. In a Barnsley Easterby can be

:09:36.:09:40.

proud of our industry and our history, all of that matters but

:09:41.:09:43.

none of it matters like people matters. There is a banner in a

:09:44.:09:49.

Barnsley in Brighton with the words the past we inherit, the future we

:09:50.:09:53.

build. I have spoken about our past, but the people of bind the Khan east

:09:54.:09:58.

did not send me here to honour our history. The centimetre to build our

:09:59.:10:01.

future and that is what I intend to do. Thank you. This is only the

:10:02.:10:10.

second opportunity I have had to make a speech in this chamber. I am

:10:11.:10:16.

looking at those making their maiden speeches and thinking, that was only

:10:17.:10:20.

me last week. But I am also looking at the benches opposite and

:10:21.:10:25.

thinking, they haven't had the opportunity or the presence of mind

:10:26.:10:29.

so far to elect a female leader of the party. And yet from the speeches

:10:30.:10:34.

we have just heard from Lewisham and Barnsley, it cannot be long until

:10:35.:10:44.

they do that. Because there is an amazing female talent in that party

:10:45.:10:48.

and I just cannot understand why they just haven't taken over the

:10:49.:10:51.

party and taken all of the positions on the front bench, with the

:10:52.:10:56.

greatest of respect to those men who are sat in them at the moment. It is

:10:57.:11:02.

an honour to follow you both and it is unfortunate, it will only demean

:11:03.:11:08.

my own performance. Moving on, I feel not only do I need to declare

:11:09.:11:11.

some interest by referring members to my entry in the register members

:11:12.:11:17.

interest but I also feel like I am presenting my CV. I am still

:11:18.:11:21.

currently the chair of the board of a housing association that has

:11:22.:11:26.

20,000 homes in Warsaw, I am also until the end of this month, I am

:11:27.:11:33.

still trying to help out, the assistant chief executive of YMCA in

:11:34.:11:38.

Birmingham and they have 300 units of accommodation for formerly

:11:39.:11:42.

homeless young people. I am also a member of the chartered Institute

:11:43.:11:46.

and I am a civil engineer by degree, that is relevant because of the

:11:47.:11:51.

points appealingly to make. First of all, I have obviously sat in a

:11:52.:11:56.

number of meetings and chair of the board. That association is currently

:11:57.:12:02.

on the site or in contract to build approximately 800 properties. Some

:12:03.:12:07.

of those properties will be shared ownership and it is understood there

:12:08.:12:10.

is a need for that type of property across the UK. Some of those

:12:11.:12:14.

properties are the slightly more innovative rent to buy, there will

:12:15.:12:19.

be opportunities for different ten years of housing than I funded by

:12:20.:12:22.

this Government and perhaps the thing I am most proud of in terms of

:12:23.:12:27.

that Government funding is that YMCA will be in receipt of homelessness

:12:28.:12:32.

funding and that will allow us to modernise a 72 bed hostel we have

:12:33.:12:36.

need of modernisation. This need of modernisation.

:12:37.:12:39.

Government is investing in housing Government is investing in housing

:12:40.:12:44.

of various tenuous. My right honourable friend said that... Did I

:12:45.:12:55.

get that right? Said the Grenfell tragedy will be one we talk about

:12:56.:13:00.

for many years to come, it is a significant and tragic event. Next

:13:01.:13:05.

year will mark the 50th anniversary of the disaster at Ronan point. The

:13:06.:13:15.

ensuing explosion that was caused by gas leaking from a pipe to her

:13:16.:13:20.

cooker blew her across the room, but more importantly knocked out some

:13:21.:13:25.

supporting balls in that flat. She was on the flat fifth from top and

:13:26.:13:29.

not only did it take out the supporting balls and damage of the

:13:30.:13:34.

flats above that there was any catastrophic failure for all flats

:13:35.:13:37.

below, resulting in four people dying. The devastation to that

:13:38.:13:42.

building. Subsequently tests were building. Subsequently tests were

:13:43.:13:46.

done, new structural supports were put in and the building was

:13:47.:13:53.

reoccupied. The consideration with regard to the design criteria went

:13:54.:13:56.

on for years, many people challenging complex things, affected

:13:57.:14:03.

by bird the windows are open or not, and eventually the building was

:14:04.:14:07.

taken down about 18 years later. The point I am trying to make is,

:14:08.:14:11.

sometimes it is not easy to understand what has gone wrong.

:14:12.:14:16.

Speaking as somebody who has supervised the construction of these

:14:17.:14:22.

buildings, designers invariably air on the side of caution. A very

:14:23.:14:30.

powerful speech and I value his experience in the building sector.

:14:31.:14:37.

Does he agree that quite often that query terms like limited

:14:38.:14:38.

combustibility argues it might be combustibility argues it might be

:14:39.:14:43.

more helpful if there was a more precise standard for fire retardant

:14:44.:14:47.

C? Niebrugge this is an opportunity for some recommendations on those

:14:48.:14:50.

lines, where everybody knows exactly what the standard is that needs to

:14:51.:14:56.

be met. My honourable friend is right, where there is the

:14:57.:15:00.

opportunity for any interpretation that you have the chance to air on

:15:01.:15:07.

the side of caution or on the side of cutting costs. That explicit

:15:08.:15:10.

detail would prevent that opportunity for interpretation. From

:15:11.:15:16.

my point of view, you will never be able to mitigate all risk. It is

:15:17.:15:23.

incredibly important we work with our Fire Service to minimise that

:15:24.:15:30.

risk. I am delighted to say that I am meeting the head of the Fire

:15:31.:15:36.

Service at YMCA, he inspected our hostel and made recommendations with

:15:37.:15:39.

regard to the improvements we can make, and we are acting upon them.

:15:40.:15:44.

This is relevant, because we have Origi discuss the idea of the state

:15:45.:15:48.

that policy. The concept of that is built on the idea of

:15:49.:15:52.

compartmentalisation. If all of the fabric of the flat allows to raise

:15:53.:15:59.

exposure to fire, before it penetrates, then you can reasonably

:16:00.:16:03.

stay in that flat for a period of time, safe in the knowledge that

:16:04.:16:05.

somebody should be able to come and rescue you during that period.

:16:06.:16:14.

He will have seen this in the warm weather, fire doors propped open

:16:15.:16:24.

ironically with fire extinguishers, rendering the door useless in the

:16:25.:16:28.

event of a fire. Similarly, we have seen fire doors painted. The smoke

:16:29.:16:34.

seal strip on the edge of the door, affected by pain. There are. It's

:16:35.:16:39.

serving its purpose in the event of fire. What I'm saying, we have a

:16:40.:16:49.

responsibility commit to go back to the big housing providers, and seek

:16:50.:16:52.

assurance from them individually that they are sticking with the

:16:53.:16:57.

legislation already in place, and before we go looking towards too

:16:58.:17:01.

much on new legislation, let's make at least absolutely sure... Thank

:17:02.:17:10.

you, Madam Deputy Speaker, with the member for Walsall North agreed they

:17:11.:17:14.

have a responsibility to provide adequate resources to our Fire

:17:15.:17:20.

Services? Let's deal with staff morale. The pay cap imposed on our

:17:21.:17:26.

emergency services, like the Fire Service, not helping matters at all.

:17:27.:17:33.

I am not sure I can totally agree with the latter half of the point. I

:17:34.:17:38.

think personally the response for the Fire Service for the Grenfell

:17:39.:17:42.

Tower tragedy was absolutely fantastic. The response to the

:17:43.:17:50.

Ariana grant a concert was fantastic. The service I have

:17:51.:17:56.

personally had from the Fire Service has been absolutely fantastic.

:17:57.:18:03.

Clearly they are managing to deliver a first-class Fire Service based on

:18:04.:18:06.

the resources they currently have. I would end by saying let's make

:18:07.:18:14.

absolutely sure we understand fire safety is everybody's

:18:15.:18:19.

responsibility. We will have a duty to ensure whatever Bill building we

:18:20.:18:26.

are operating in... I know you are just about to close. Accepting

:18:27.:18:36.

points about personal responsibility, not painting doors,

:18:37.:18:39.

fire extinguishers. People must be forgiven for leaving their windows

:18:40.:18:44.

open on a hot summer night, and the flames engulfing it outside. I could

:18:45.:18:50.

not agree more. We need to be certain the design criteria we are

:18:51.:18:54.

applying to these buildings mitigates for that kind of

:18:55.:19:05.

circumstance. At times of national disaster, poet laureates are called

:19:06.:19:10.

upon to commemorate and reflect upon events. In North Kensington we have

:19:11.:19:16.

we have our own Glen Johnsons and Alfred Lord Tennysons. We have Paton

:19:17.:19:29.

Whisper calling out Grenfell Tower Britain in guttural prose. We have

:19:30.:19:33.

poets and artists aplenty. The council does not recognise the

:19:34.:19:36.

talent. The Philistine council would like to spend ?30 million on Opera

:19:37.:19:42.

for a minority in Holland Park over 20 years. Why is this relevant to

:19:43.:19:48.

the debate to date? Kensington and Chelsea Council has misspent

:19:49.:19:52.

government and council taxpayers funds on countless vanity projects

:19:53.:19:57.

and hand-outs as we have heard. Underfunding essential services like

:19:58.:20:04.

nurseries, homework clubs, advice centres, skills training, and of

:20:05.:20:09.

course as tragically demonstrated, council housing. Not to mention

:20:10.:20:14.

controversial project to hand over Kensington library and youth centre

:20:15.:20:20.

to private schools at a cost to the council at ?11 million. Without even

:20:21.:20:25.

consulting the public whose money is being used to fund private

:20:26.:20:32.

education. ?11 million gift to the private sector, what they cannot

:20:33.:20:35.

find money for sprinklers, decent cladding and fire alarms. Where is

:20:36.:20:41.

the accountability? To whom does Britain's favourite council report?

:20:42.:20:48.

Not to the task force. As has been acknowledge, the council response in

:20:49.:20:52.

the and days after the fire was shockingly inadequate, possibly

:20:53.:20:59.

criminally neglectful. We shall see. Have they learned from their

:21:00.:21:04.

mistakes? They have not. They remove the chief executive, the senior

:21:05.:21:06.

councillor resigned. Who is replacing them? Where fundamental

:21:07.:21:13.

changes desperately needed and no change at all. A consolidation of

:21:14.:21:17.

the leadership that failed. Survivors and volunteers are asking

:21:18.:21:21.

where is the money so generously donated by the public? Where are the

:21:22.:21:25.

millions, who is deciding where it should go? Why is the council not

:21:26.:21:32.

using its one third of the billion reserve, purchasing properties for

:21:33.:21:40.

those they have failed. Underspending revenue shovelled into

:21:41.:21:43.

capital reserves for vanity projects should be returned to those who need

:21:44.:21:49.

it. What is needed is fundamental change. I can see we're not going to

:21:50.:21:54.

get it without further outside intervention and the support of

:21:55.:21:58.

people who can be trusted. The longer the current situation

:21:59.:22:01.

prevails, the worse it will get. I am asking for intervention. I get

:22:02.:22:06.

daily updates from people on the ground. Where is the wraparound

:22:07.:22:10.

support for the bereaved and desperate people staying in hotels

:22:11.:22:15.

as the much trumpeted high-quality temporary accommodation has not been

:22:16.:22:19.

suitable or not offered little. Why offer a survivor a high-rise flat?

:22:20.:22:25.

Why offered a disabled woman a home only reachable by stairs and the

:22:26.:22:30.

left? That happened this week. Why offer a flat in Pimlico, too far to

:22:31.:22:37.

reach survivors networks? I thank the honourable lady for giving way.

:22:38.:22:40.

Listening very carefully to the words. First she not accept it

:22:41.:22:45.

should be the choice of people offering accommodation as to whether

:22:46.:22:53.

they take it? I thank you for that. They have been offered one choice.

:22:54.:22:58.

They have had no choice. It is that choice of the hotel. In temporary

:22:59.:23:04.

accommodation, they have a choice of three or four. After that, they may

:23:05.:23:10.

be threatened with involuntary homelessness this. They have been

:23:11.:23:15.

offered one each. Nothing has happened this week. I direct

:23:16.:23:21.

communication, still nowise accountable. More specifically on

:23:22.:23:28.

housing, can meet knowledge that racist is to be chaotic daily and

:23:29.:23:33.

for many, why is the TMO under criminal investigation still in

:23:34.:23:39.

control of housing? The updates I get from survivors, members of

:23:40.:23:43.

voluntary groups and others involved in the project talk about a lack of

:23:44.:23:47.

cultural awareness of some social workers, lack of continuity of care.

:23:48.:23:53.

The issue of amnesty or no amnesty for those of concern over

:23:54.:23:57.

immigration. It continues. Communication is very poor. Issues

:23:58.:24:04.

relating to blocks continue? Are they safe? The confusion from the

:24:05.:24:10.

TMO, about payment of rent, threatened evictions for those who

:24:11.:24:14.

have not paid. This may have been dealt with, the legacy is still

:24:15.:24:18.

there. Does where they stand? It seems not. Some neighbours in blocks

:24:19.:24:25.

are to scared to return. They say they hate ghosts. As far as we can

:24:26.:24:30.

ascertain, survivors are given one choice of accommodation. Why only

:24:31.:24:37.

one? Another turned down a flat with mould, another turned down one

:24:38.:24:41.

scheduled for demolition. There is an eight centralised list of decent

:24:42.:24:44.

housing. There seems to be no coordination. Someone offered three

:24:45.:24:51.

impeccably refurbished flats for the council, only to be told everyone

:24:52.:24:54.

that housing high-quality homes, which we know it's not true. This

:24:55.:25:00.

continuing disaster and lack of care and respect survivors is

:25:01.:25:04.

unacceptable. This comes from the culture at Kensington and Chelsea

:25:05.:25:07.

Council that needs to be addressed, and soon. The worse it is for the

:25:08.:25:13.

survivors every day. Will the government continued to let the

:25:14.:25:16.

council failed survivors in so many ways? This is fated whispers,

:25:17.:25:23.

Grenfell Tower Britain? I would like to turn to mental health. Many

:25:24.:25:28.

survivors are still in shock, cannot begin to recover until they bury

:25:29.:25:32.

their loved ones. Many will have to wait a very long time for that. Many

:25:33.:25:37.

are fragile indeed, I have huge concerns for mental health. I have

:25:38.:25:42.

seen people I know still in shock, not on any path to recovery. One I

:25:43.:25:47.

know was on the phone to her terrified best friend in the tower

:25:48.:25:52.

for over one hour debating to whether stay in the flat or leave,

:25:53.:25:56.

then the phone went dead. The surviving friend calls and texts

:25:57.:26:00.

every day. Even though she knows her friend is dead. Who is looking after

:26:01.:26:05.

her? Particularly concerned about those who may have mental health

:26:06.:26:11.

crises. We have had one threatened suicide, one attempted suicide.

:26:12.:26:16.

There maybe more. Many affected people will need urgent and

:26:17.:26:20.

intensive treatment some point. The minority party councillors in

:26:21.:26:23.

Kensington and Chelsea have been asking for increases in places of

:26:24.:26:28.

safety for people suffering crises. After a series of incidents where

:26:29.:26:32.

people with mental health issues or 30 mental health housing, had

:26:33.:26:37.

crises, and ended up in a police cell because there was nowhere else

:26:38.:26:41.

for them to go. This is why we hear that an entire wall the London

:26:42.:26:46.

Hospital, locked as there are not enough cash to keep it open,

:26:47.:26:50.

patients off-loaded into private mental health care facilities at a

:26:51.:26:56.

cost of nearly ?600 a day. Where is the logic, who is accountable for

:26:57.:27:01.

this? After four weeks we still witnessing a process which is

:27:02.:27:07.

reactive, where the Council and government are one step behind. We

:27:08.:27:11.

need a sensible plan in place. We need to review the closed ward,

:27:12.:27:15.

allocate funds to staff it. Please can we have a proper strategic plan,

:27:16.:27:21.

as we go forward for housing and all the other issues, because we are

:27:22.:27:27.

reacting daily? Looking to the future, a lot of people in groups

:27:28.:27:31.

are beginning to plan forward, many come to me, many well-meaning. They

:27:32.:27:36.

want to tell them how they went wrong, have they can better approach

:27:37.:27:41.

their service. With my background in architecture and planning, I have

:27:42.:27:45.

many ideas, some which I have been working on for years. I cannot

:27:46.:27:51.

possibly support, at a time when people feel so distrustful, any Caer

:27:52.:27:55.

top-down intervention, however experts well-meaning that may be. At

:27:56.:28:00.

any time, particularly a time like this, good planning starts with

:28:01.:28:03.

people whose lives will be changed by it. A blank sheet of paper from a

:28:04.:28:09.

good planning should end with improving the lives of those already

:28:10.:28:15.

living there. This state programme currently proposed in the council,

:28:16.:28:20.

and many councils of all political views, not for the benefit of

:28:21.:28:24.

existing tenants. We need a completely fresh approach.

:28:25.:28:29.

Overwriting this is a genuine and often misplaced, sometimes insulting

:28:30.:28:36.

attitude, by those in of powers and influence, belittling people. I have

:28:37.:28:39.

never believed that, that is why I was elected. You have heard about

:28:40.:28:44.

our volunteer groups and organisations, they did not spring

:28:45.:28:48.

up out of nowhere, always underappreciated, undervalued. We

:28:49.:28:52.

need to learn lessons from them, bring them into the future. What was

:28:53.:28:58.

so cruelly taken from our Grenfell Tower people must be returned. They

:28:59.:29:02.

do not wish to be penalised financially forever foreign actor

:29:03.:29:07.

they were not responsible for. They want their dignity back, somewhere

:29:08.:29:14.

decent to recover. You cannot bring never ceased back to life. They want

:29:15.:29:18.

a choice of where to bury their dead. This is not always been

:29:19.:29:22.

offered. This horrific event must be a game changing. We need a thorough

:29:23.:29:27.

review of approaches to state development. Funding of social

:29:28.:29:31.

housing. We need to listen to the people affected and a warnings and

:29:32.:29:37.

act upon their concerns with the transparency and honesty which has

:29:38.:29:41.

clearly been missing. Grenfell Tower people do not want your pity. They

:29:42.:29:47.

do not want charity. They want justice, and they want change. Our

:29:48.:29:52.

poets and artists will continue to shame us all with their insight and

:29:53.:29:57.

intelligence. Until we recognise that, and accept collaboration into

:29:58.:30:02.

the fundamental change that is so desperately needed. Welcome to your

:30:03.:30:11.

place. Can I say how humbling it is the follow on from my honourable

:30:12.:30:15.

friend from Kensington, and her powerful words. What a difference it

:30:16.:30:20.

makes to have a Labour MPs speaking for the voiceless, and those without

:30:21.:30:25.

power in that constituency after this tragic incident. It is clear to

:30:26.:30:30.

many of us who find ourselves unable to comprehend the shocking fire,

:30:31.:30:38.

that so perfectly captures ever deeper national, political and

:30:39.:30:41.

social crisis. The Grenfell Tower fire is the symbol of the systematic

:30:42.:30:46.

running down of institutions we all need. Inevitably as a systems begin

:30:47.:30:51.

to break down from it is the poor and vulnerable first in line to

:30:52.:30:55.

experience that failure. Madam Deputy Speaker we need high-quality

:30:56.:30:59.

journalism from a properly funded legal aid system that allows all

:31:00.:31:03.

very people to have their vital protection by the law. Really

:31:04.:31:08.

properly paid public sector workers, local government that has the

:31:09.:31:11.

resources and power to do what is needed, not just act as another

:31:12.:31:13.

stamp for Westminster. Of course, it is critical we focus

:31:14.:31:22.

on the detail of what went wrong at Grenfell today but I would like to

:31:23.:31:26.

make two short point arguing for wider action, the kind of action

:31:27.:31:29.

that never ends. The institutions with the critical role in preventing

:31:30.:31:33.

disasters and clearing up the mess when things go wrong do not exist by

:31:34.:31:39.

accident. If they are run down, then we get to the point where we, the

:31:40.:31:44.

lawmakers in this place, our daily exposing families and communities to

:31:45.:31:48.

an acceptable risk. When this happens, as it has four too long, we

:31:49.:31:53.

are culpable because we have pushed systems and people to the limit. I

:31:54.:31:57.

stand today with friends on the side of the Haas to say we will fight

:31:58.:32:02.

hard to end the relentless running down of multiple civic functions. No

:32:03.:32:05.

longer will they do this in our name. It looks to me as though the

:32:06.:32:13.

country is with us in our endeavour. Madam Deputy Speaker, it is clear

:32:14.:32:16.

that both local authorities and the Fire Service have been very heavily

:32:17.:32:19.

relied upon both before the tragedy of Grenfell and with the aftermath

:32:20.:32:24.

as it unfolded. So far in Norwich we only have a few buildings of

:32:25.:32:29.

concern, but that is a small and diminishing army of public sector

:32:30.:32:33.

and housing association workers doing their job stay in, day out

:32:34.:32:37.

with both diminishing resources and morale, they have had to deal with

:32:38.:32:42.

the fallout from Grenfell. Too often these workers have too little

:32:43.:32:46.

resources and power to regulate the private sector in the public

:32:47.:32:49.

interest. Of the six blocks currently being tested for from

:32:50.:32:54.

abroad cladding in Norwich, five are in the private sector. And what is

:32:55.:32:57.

being done to check privately owned student halls of residence? Can the

:32:58.:33:02.

Minister address the point that many are now privately owned and manage?

:33:03.:33:06.

How come the Government and universities ensure they are checked

:33:07.:33:10.

for flammable cladding and the highest safety standards apply? Can

:33:11.:33:13.

they confirmed that student halls are classed as other residential

:33:14.:33:18.

buildings and therefore subject to weaker requirements for sprinklers?

:33:19.:33:23.

If so, will the Government consider closing the loophole?

:33:24.:33:38.

On a similar note, parents rely on their children being safe in

:33:39.:33:42.

schools. We know the Government had planned to change the regulations on

:33:43.:33:44.

fire safety in schools, removing the expectation that most new school

:33:45.:33:46.

buildings would be fitted with sprinklers. On the basis that they

:33:47.:33:49.

do not need to be sprinkler protected to achieve a reasonable

:33:50.:33:51.

standard of light safety, the words of the Government. Since Grenfell,

:33:52.:33:53.

ministers have hinted that they will, rightly, be abandoned. Can

:33:54.:33:57.

they make it clear to the house that will happen?

:33:58.:33:59.

Schools in Norwich suffered particularly badly from Government

:34:00.:34:03.

cuts and threatened with the worst settlement in Norfolk under the

:34:04.:34:07.

proposed funding formula, but we are waiting to find out if and how that

:34:08.:34:11.

will be implemented. Will any central funding be made available

:34:12.:34:16.

for essential safety work so they do not face more unfunded costs from

:34:17.:34:20.

Government? Back to local authorities. They have

:34:21.:34:25.

been subject to a thousand unnatural shocks in funding and changes to

:34:26.:34:30.

their ways of working. To name one, the mandatory 1% rent reduction from

:34:31.:34:34.

the Government, which reduces Norwich City Council's ability to

:34:35.:34:38.

repair and improve its ageing housing stock by an average of ?7.4

:34:39.:34:45.

million a year. The reality of that mandatory rent reduction, less

:34:46.:34:49.

investment in council housing stock, risking council activities like the

:34:50.:34:52.

daily safety checks carried out on high-rise blocks. In Norwich we are

:34:53.:34:57.

fortunate to have a Labour run City Council but make sure those safety

:34:58.:35:02.

checks happen, but my counsel, like many local authorities, comes up

:35:03.:35:05.

against the physical limits of what it can do with its resources. Kurtz

:35:06.:35:12.

year after year by this Government. Madam Deputy Speaker, it is not just

:35:13.:35:24.

local authorities struggling to maintain safe standards. The Fire

:35:25.:35:26.

Services, the men and women we are so quick to applaud for their

:35:27.:35:28.

bravery, rightly so, have concerns. Full-time firefighters earn less

:35:29.:35:31.

than ?30,000 a year. It is welcome to see the 1% cap was not imposed on

:35:32.:35:38.

their new pay offer. But there is a catch. Firefighters are now

:35:39.:35:41.

concerned that given there has been no confirmation about how this will

:35:42.:35:46.

be funded, that the money will come from the service itself. Borrow from

:35:47.:35:53.

Peter to pay Paul is not improving anybody's safety. This Government

:35:54.:35:58.

must understand the ongoing funding cuts to institutions and those who

:35:59.:36:04.

worked so hard for them are critical parts of the Grenfell story.

:36:05.:36:07.

Reversing them is essential to prevent another tragedy.

:36:08.:36:13.

To make her maiden speech, Sarah Jones.

:36:14.:36:15.

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I am pleased to make my maiden speech

:36:16.:36:21.

in such a very important debate, I congratulate my honourable friends

:36:22.:36:24.

from Barnsley East, Lewisham and Kensington for their contributions

:36:25.:36:27.

already. I am deeply proud to have been

:36:28.:36:31.

elected as the first ever woman MP in Croydon. I want to pay tribute to

:36:32.:36:38.

my predecessor, Gavin Barwell, who served our town for seven years.

:36:39.:36:43.

Among the many good things that he did, his work to introduce Lillian's

:36:44.:36:47.

law following the tragic death of 14-year-old Lillian Groves in 2010

:36:48.:36:53.

means drivers can be prosecuted if caught exceeding new drug limits.

:36:54.:36:57.

Since the law was passed there have been over 13,000 convictions.

:36:58.:37:01.

This was a good thing that Gavin did, Madam Deputy Speaker. He is

:37:02.:37:07.

also an acclaimed author. His book was, I understand, much red among

:37:08.:37:12.

members opposite. How To Win A Marginal Seat. I can't wait for the

:37:13.:37:23.

sequel. I should also record my gratitude to the Prime Minister for

:37:24.:37:26.

giving me an early replay after my narrow defeat in 2015. I am so glad

:37:27.:37:32.

I was able to repay the favour by helping her with her own staffing

:37:33.:37:37.

problems. I want to pay tribute to my honourable friend the member for

:37:38.:37:45.

Swansea West, who was MP for Croydon Central for several years, and also

:37:46.:37:49.

the MP for Mole Valley who was once MP for Croydon. And my honourable

:37:50.:37:52.

friend for Croydon North is here, already a great champion for a time.

:37:53.:37:57.

I hope two will be better that one on these benches and that we can

:37:58.:38:00.

truly stand up for Croydon. I am privileged to have worked the

:38:01.:38:04.

two former members of this House, the late Mo Mowlam when she was a

:38:05.:38:09.

trailblazing Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, and as a civil servant

:38:10.:38:12.

Tessa Jowell when she was in charge of delivering the 2012 Olympics. In

:38:13.:38:21.

completely different ways they were both truly inspirational and I'm

:38:22.:38:23.

grateful to Tessa for her help during my recent campaign. I am so

:38:24.:38:26.

proud to be part of a record number of women in this House and to be

:38:27.:38:29.

part of the women's Parliamentary Labour Party, which makes up 45% of

:38:30.:38:35.

Labour MPs. Just one more and we will be there. With the growing

:38:36.:38:38.

number of women and men from ethnic minorities who are getting closer to

:38:39.:38:42.

looking like the country we represent. I think that is really

:38:43.:38:46.

significant for our democracy. Madam Deputy Speaker, Croydon is

:38:47.:38:50.

deeply special to me. I have lived here all my life, generations of my

:38:51.:38:54.

family were born and have died here. Most recently my father died on the

:38:55.:38:59.

11th of June this year, three days after the general election. He lived

:39:00.:39:11.

just long enough to see his daughter fulfil her goal and to be proved

:39:12.:39:13.

right about my honourable friend the member for Islington North. He is a

:39:14.:39:16.

big fan of the Leader of the Opposition. It is a good lesson to

:39:17.:39:19.

us all, listen to your dad! Croydon is exceptional, the greenest and

:39:20.:39:21.

largest London borough, its diversity is its strength. From the

:39:22.:39:24.

woodlands of Shirley to the tower blocks in the town centre, from the

:39:25.:39:27.

strong community of new Addington surrounded by fields to the

:39:28.:39:30.

Victorian terraces of South Norwood. The name of our town, most agree,

:39:31.:39:36.

derives from crocus Valley, where during the Roman period crocuses

:39:37.:39:39.

were grown to make saffron to be sold on the streets of London as

:39:40.:39:43.

medicine. In the heart of Croydon we are growing crocuses again to make

:39:44.:39:47.

saffron. Our great theatre the Fairfield Halls is being reborn

:39:48.:39:50.

through a multi-million pound makeover, art and culture here is at

:39:51.:39:54.

the cutting edge with artists from around the world literally painting

:39:55.:39:58.

our town with new artwork. Our technology seen as the

:39:59.:40:01.

fastest-growing in London and we have the largest number of young

:40:02.:40:05.

people. We are ambitious for Croydon and I know we will thrive. But there

:40:06.:40:10.

are two sides to every tale. Seven years of austerity has ripped

:40:11.:40:14.

through our community. Low pay, the horror that is the implementation of

:40:15.:40:19.

Universal Credit, cuts to disability benefits, high housing costs,

:40:20.:40:23.

rocketing homelessness, crippling local government cuts, an increase

:40:24.:40:26.

in knife crime, cuts to school funding and young people starting

:40:27.:40:31.

their lives with debt. We are letting people down, Madam Deputy

:40:32.:40:35.

Speaker, if we do not as a House and acknowledge the reality of the lives

:40:36.:40:40.

of those we are here to serve. Many in this House are in complete denial

:40:41.:40:43.

about the scale of the problems we face. We are letting people down

:40:44.:40:47.

more if we do not have the greatest energy and hunger for change act in

:40:48.:40:51.

every way we can to make the lives of those we represent better,

:40:52.:40:57.

richer, more secure. Grenfell Tower show just how extraordinary our

:40:58.:41:01.

emergency services can respond at a time of great crisis, but it also

:41:02.:41:05.

shows how badly we get things wrong. On the Saturday after the disaster I

:41:06.:41:09.

met a Croydon fireman called to fight the Grenfell place just days

:41:10.:41:13.

earlier. There were tears in both our eyes as he told me about the

:41:14.:41:17.

terrible things he had seen. He made me promise not to rest until we saw

:41:18.:41:23.

justice done. Madam Deputy Speaker, today is a House I hope we can

:41:24.:41:25.

realise that promise. It is clear we fail too many foot too

:41:26.:41:45.

long, the victims were speaking but we were not listening. We cannot

:41:46.:41:48.

make the same mistake again. The member for Wentworth internally

:41:49.:41:49.

suggested setting up an advisory panel to help build confidence and

:41:50.:41:51.

relationships with local residents and survivors. Shelter has said it

:41:52.:41:54.

is not fair to expect residents to rely on written submissions only and

:41:55.:41:56.

the current timeline is too short. This seems sensible. I wonder if we

:41:57.:42:00.

need to be brave enough to say we do not have all the answers. The whole

:42:01.:42:02.

point of listening is to listen and to then act. I would like is to be

:42:03.:42:07.

strong enough to do that with the survivors on the local community. I

:42:08.:42:10.

am proud that the Labour Croydon Council was the first to commit to

:42:11.:42:15.

retrofitting high tower blocks with sprinklers -- all our high tower

:42:16.:42:19.

blocks. I call on the Government to clarify whether they will fund this

:42:20.:42:22.

and the other changes we need to make and reverse the shocking cuts

:42:23.:42:26.

to local government we have seen. We cannot afford not to do this.

:42:27.:42:31.

We must view Grenfell in the wider context of a national housing

:42:32.:42:35.

crisis. Three figures tell the story. Right now 76,000 families

:42:36.:42:41.

live in temporary accommodation, the best part of 120,000 children. 20%

:42:42.:42:46.

of homes do not meet the Government decent homes standard, including

:42:47.:42:51.

fire safety, and we need to build 75,000 social rented homes a year,

:42:52.:42:55.

last year we build less than 7000. I spoke to thousands of people on

:42:56.:43:00.

the doorstep in the election. Of course there was nothing like the

:43:01.:43:04.

scale of the horrors of Grenfell but there were many experiences leading

:43:05.:43:08.

people to believe they had no voice. Having a voice is not about speaking

:43:09.:43:12.

out, it is about knowing you will be listened to and being sure that

:43:13.:43:16.

action will be taken to make a difference. Nowhere is that more

:43:17.:43:20.

important than in the response to the Grenfell Tower fire. I said it

:43:21.:43:24.

was my goal to be MP for Croydon Central, my ambition is not to be

:43:25.:43:37.

something something, to make a difference to the lives of the

:43:38.:43:40.

people I represent now. I don't underestimate the scale of that

:43:41.:43:42.

responsibility. Many young people voted for me, as they did in many

:43:43.:43:44.

other constituencies. Many voted for the very first time. They had

:43:45.:43:46.

perhaps never voted before because they felt politicians had nothing to

:43:47.:43:49.

offer. Now they have put their faith in democracy, in us, for the first

:43:50.:43:54.

time. We must not fail them. If the election taught as anything it is

:43:55.:43:58.

that we cannot take anyone for granted. As Croydon's Stormzy put so

:43:59.:44:03.

well in one of his songs, you're never too big for the blitz. When I

:44:04.:44:07.

am campaigning again in five years or even sooner, the true

:44:08.:44:19.

testimony will be that people tell me I listened, I heard what they

:44:20.:44:24.

said and I did my best to make a difference to their lives. I think

:44:25.:44:27.

that must be the test for us all on both sides of the House. Thank you.

:44:28.:44:30.

Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker, it is a particular honour to follow

:44:31.:44:32.

from three new maiden speeches, all made by three new female members. I

:44:33.:44:38.

have only made my maiden speech two weeks ago, I am speaking as a very

:44:39.:44:43.

experienced old-timer. What particularly resonated with me was

:44:44.:44:48.

what the member for Barnsley East said, people matter. That is very

:44:49.:44:52.

relevant to our debate today as well. Madam Deputy Speaker, one

:44:53.:45:01.

month from now this tragedy, it is no less painful for the victims and

:45:02.:45:06.

their families, no less fear and no less anger for failings of the

:45:07.:45:11.

political system. The disaster at Grenfell Tower left a huge scar not

:45:12.:45:16.

just in the local community of Kensington but across Britain. It

:45:17.:45:20.

has moved people deeply. Whether they have local connections or not.

:45:21.:45:24.

That has been reflected in the generosity shown by public

:45:25.:45:30.

donations. It is also exposed deep divisions and inequalities in our

:45:31.:45:34.

society, which we have ignored for far too long. This disaster should

:45:35.:45:39.

have been avoided. How is it possible that in a very wealthy Boro

:45:40.:45:45.

back -- like Kensington and Chelsea, dozens can burn to death in their

:45:46.:45:50.

own homes? We need to find out from the public inquiry exactly what

:45:51.:45:54.

happened and what mistakes were made. But reports that unsafe

:45:55.:45:59.

building materials were used, that they need to cut cost was put above

:46:00.:46:03.

tenants' safety and concerns raised by the residents were repeatedly

:46:04.:46:09.

ignored paint a picture that goes much deeper than this disaster, it

:46:10.:46:14.

goes to the heart of our political system and its failures. Trust

:46:15.:46:17.

between our local communities and the political system has been

:46:18.:46:21.

seriously eroded and has to be restored.

:46:22.:46:27.

Trust is an essential part of a healthy democracy. And a functioning

:46:28.:46:36.

society. In the work to restore lives affected by Grenfell Tower,

:46:37.:46:41.

everything is possible to rebuild that trust. That means genuinely

:46:42.:46:46.

listening to victims, families and the local community. Involving

:46:47.:46:50.

residents in the communities and decisions affecting their future.

:46:51.:46:53.

Taking all possible action to put things right. They must include an

:46:54.:46:59.

urgent increase in social housing provision across our country. This

:47:00.:47:05.

disaster was a result of a long long-term failure of successive

:47:06.:47:09.

governments to invest in social housing. Leaving house-building to

:47:10.:47:14.

the private sector has utterly failed. Led to a housing crisis

:47:15.:47:23.

driving vast inequality, pushing many families into homelessness

:47:24.:47:30.

must. This will continue to spiral out of control without action. We

:47:31.:47:33.

need widespread reform on the systems and structures. An immediate

:47:34.:47:39.

review of the building regulations to ensure they are up to date and

:47:40.:47:43.

appropriate, we cannot wait for the results of the public enquiry. We

:47:44.:47:49.

cannot have a repeat of what happened when a review of regulation

:47:50.:47:53.

was promised and not delivered. Lessons must be learned and

:47:54.:47:58.

implemented fast given the fire started in a fridge, there must be

:47:59.:48:03.

also reform on electrical safety. My colleagues in both houses have been

:48:04.:48:10.

fighting for the introduction of compulsory electrical safety checks

:48:11.:48:14.

in rented homes. The government has seen this as an unnecessary

:48:15.:48:19.

regulation. Now it is surely inexcusable not to make this simple

:48:20.:48:23.

change that has the potential to save lives. All residents, in

:48:24.:48:29.

whatever type of housing they are living have a right to live in homes

:48:30.:48:35.

that are safe, warm, and in clean and green neighbourhoods. Madam

:48:36.:48:41.

Deputy Speaker, this disaster as exposed huge weaknesses in our

:48:42.:48:47.

country, and undermined people's trust. We have a responsibility in

:48:48.:48:51.

rebuilding trust between the public and elected representatives. This

:48:52.:48:56.

cabin has the power to take the radical steps to fix the system.

:48:57.:49:05.

They must do that now. To make his maiden speech, Alex Sobel. Thank you

:49:06.:49:10.

Madam Deputy Speaker. Congratulations on your election. I

:49:11.:49:14.

am grateful to make my contribution to this honourable House. My

:49:15.:49:23.

honourable friend for Croydon Central, and the West pens and

:49:24.:49:27.

Barnsley East. I would like to briefly speak to my own

:49:28.:49:31.

constituency, Leeds North West. As anyone who has visited, it is a

:49:32.:49:43.

place that defy expectations. It starts in inner-city Hyde Park,

:49:44.:49:46.

where we have a vibrant culture music scene, including the legendary

:49:47.:49:53.

Brunel social club. Only weeks ago my friend the member for Islington

:49:54.:49:57.

North gave a speech to 5000 people. People climbing trees, standing on

:49:58.:50:00.

rooftops to feel part of our movement. We move on to Headingley

:50:01.:50:04.

with its world-renowned sporting pedigree. Legendary stadium and

:50:05.:50:10.

cricket ground, home to Yorkshire County Cricket club, the most

:50:11.:50:14.

successful County Championship team. Also a place where I have spent many

:50:15.:50:17.

happy afternoons is my days as a student. There is a fine literary

:50:18.:50:26.

tradition, once the home of Tolkien. Now home to many creative figures,

:50:27.:50:31.

including the award-winning television writer, Kay Mellor. We

:50:32.:50:38.

have a grade one listed church of John the Baptist, one of the best

:50:39.:50:42.

and most complete Norman churches in the country. My constituency also

:50:43.:50:44.

has Yorkshire's International Airport. And partly with the breadth

:50:45.:50:52.

of events hosting hundreds of events every year, to the cliched and

:50:53.:50:56.

Victorian fair. Between the market towns lies the beautiful Upland,

:50:57.:51:02.

where the foundation stones for this very House came from. It provides

:51:03.:51:07.

the foundation of our Parliamentary democracy. My first visit to this

:51:08.:51:13.

place was 20 years ago where I came as executive officer of Leeds

:51:14.:51:18.

University union to lobby Leeds MPs about the retention of student

:51:19.:51:21.

grants, opposing tuition fees. An issue I intend to pursue in this

:51:22.:51:27.

Parliament. I met with Harold West, the only other Labour MP to

:51:28.:51:33.

represent Leeds West, who agreed with me, and showed me the Palace of

:51:34.:51:38.

Westminster, reflecting his great generosity of spirit. Which he and

:51:39.:51:41.

his family continue to show me this day. One I wish to replicate now in

:51:42.:51:46.

this place, having a family of my own. My immediate predecessor said

:51:47.:51:51.

in this place for 12 years, during that time he became champion for a

:51:52.:51:55.

number of causes, not least his support for rugby league, chairman

:51:56.:52:00.

of the all-party Parliamentary Rugby league group. Championing a sport of

:52:01.:52:04.

great importance to our local area. Craig was a strong advocate for pubs

:52:05.:52:09.

across the country and local breweries. Serving as chair of the

:52:10.:52:16.

all-party save the Pub group. Greg Mulholland was a hard-working local

:52:17.:52:21.

MP. The filling the tensions in his maiden speech to this House. My

:52:22.:52:29.

honourable friend, claims to be the first Darren in this place. I can

:52:30.:52:44.

say I'm the first pop Sobell TV in Parliament. My family came to this

:52:45.:52:47.

country and could not imagine their son would be an MP. It was at

:52:48.:52:53.

university, my interests are fighting for justice and equality

:52:54.:52:57.

began. As a student representative for the School are competing at the

:52:58.:53:01.

University of Leeds. Advocating fellow students, before campaigning

:53:02.:53:08.

on student funding and against racism, I'm still an elected member

:53:09.:53:16.

for Leeds City Council. I was the that climate change is not a topic

:53:17.:53:19.

close to my heart and which are returned shortly. I turned to the

:53:20.:53:23.

substantive issue of the debate. I would like to echo the words of

:53:24.:53:28.

honourable friends you have spoken on the devastating event. Issuing my

:53:29.:53:33.

heart felt condolences to the victims of the Grenfell tower fire.

:53:34.:53:39.

I pay tribute to the emergency services who responded rapidly and

:53:40.:53:43.

bravely. To my honourable friend, the member for Kensington, and all

:53:44.:53:47.

the volunteers who supported families in the aftermath of the

:53:48.:53:51.

fire. So many lives lost, a tragedy defying description. On the Sunday

:53:52.:53:56.

following the fire I visited the only tower block in my constituency

:53:57.:53:59.

ensuring tenants felt safe in their homes. Leeds City Council told me no

:54:00.:54:08.

aluminium composite cladding were in flats in the city. I hope the

:54:09.:54:13.

minister will take action to make sure testing is taking on all

:54:14.:54:16.

cladding in this country working with and compelling bodies to do the

:54:17.:54:21.

testing. The testing of cladding fully addressed in the enquiry.

:54:22.:54:26.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I'm sure all members of the House will agree on

:54:27.:54:30.

the urgent action for safety. I would like to address the use of

:54:31.:54:34.

cladding is part of our wider aims to reduce carbon emissions and fuel

:54:35.:54:41.

bills. In my constituency a house sale programme of external wall

:54:42.:54:45.

cladding, installation, started and installed due to cuts in

:54:46.:54:50.

eco-funding. Leaving one side of the bread with cladding, the other

:54:51.:54:56.

without. External wall installation, using mineral wool, resin or other

:54:57.:55:00.

materials meeting building regulations contributes to eradicate

:55:01.:55:07.

fuel poverty. Meeting our obligations under the Paris climate

:55:08.:55:12.

change agreement. We must insure the work is completed alongside other

:55:13.:55:17.

measures, not just in housing transport, energy and manufacturing

:55:18.:55:19.

to ensure runaway climate change does not occur. The safety of

:55:20.:55:26.

citizens is paramount. We must also ensure that standards and inspection

:55:27.:55:28.

regimes are amongst the best in the world. Can the words of President

:55:29.:55:36.

Obama, no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than

:55:37.:55:40.

climate change. This chamber is a stage where the world can hear our

:55:41.:55:44.

voice. It is incumbent on me to use their voice to ensure that while I

:55:45.:55:48.

sit on these benches I will speak truth to power and be an advocate

:55:49.:55:51.

for this one issue which will define the shape of our future more than

:55:52.:55:57.

any other. Action to combat climate change will give us the best

:55:58.:56:00.

possible chance to save this planet. It is the only home we have got.

:56:01.:56:05.

Without ensuring we take every step to a carbon free future we will be

:56:06.:56:09.

judged as having failed future generations. I'm sure nobody came

:56:10.:56:15.

into this House to be a failure. There will be many other local and

:56:16.:56:20.

national issues I will raise in the House concerning market towns,

:56:21.:56:25.

universities and the sporting and cultural institutions, transport and

:56:26.:56:29.

technology. Today, I thank you Madam Speaker for making my maiden speech.

:56:30.:56:34.

I pledge to my constituents and members to be a strong voice in this

:56:35.:56:37.

House as well as being a powerful advocate for my constituency. It is

:56:38.:56:43.

a pleasure to see the chair. Delightful to follow the excellent

:56:44.:56:48.

maiden speech by the honourable member for Leeds North West. Indeed

:56:49.:56:52.

we have heard three other superb maiden speeches to date for the

:56:53.:56:58.

members for Croydon Central, and Barnsley. His House is renewing

:56:59.:57:04.

itself with huge talent, youth, energy and diversity. Across all

:57:05.:57:09.

sides, and that is something which all members of this House can be

:57:10.:57:14.

very proud to see. Madam Deputy Speaker, the Grenfell Tower fire was

:57:15.:57:18.

the worst residential fire in modern history. The worst disaster of any

:57:19.:57:23.

kind for about 30 years in this country. The truth of the matter is,

:57:24.:57:31.

fire, residential fire, not an equal opportunities killer. In north-west

:57:32.:57:38.

London, I know from history in my own constituency and Kensington, we

:57:39.:57:44.

have had a spate of the worst fires of modern history before Grenfell we

:57:45.:57:51.

have the fire in which eight people died, 100 made homeless. In 1989

:57:52.:57:58.

people died in a fire for homeless women in Kilburn. Shortly before

:57:59.:58:04.

that seven people died in a fire in interconnected property in Maida

:58:05.:58:10.

Vale. All of the larger scale fires, residential fires had something in

:58:11.:58:14.

common. They affected the lowest income people. They affected people

:58:15.:58:21.

in the worst kind of housing. They cannot and should not be prejudging

:58:22.:58:26.

the results of the Grenfell enquiry, as to how the fire started and

:58:27.:58:29.

spread so quickly. The conclusions we can drop, it is substandard

:58:30.:58:36.

housing at risk, it is the poorest people living in substandard

:58:37.:58:41.

housing. They need to be protected. There is an issue power Madam Deputy

:58:42.:58:47.

Speaker, a rest now. Does not need to wait until the findings of the

:58:48.:58:52.

enquiry. Much can be legislated for immediately. Many of the suggestions

:58:53.:58:57.

we have heard this afternoon, in terms of the issuing of building

:58:58.:59:03.

regulations. And of guidance. The lessons learned. We can legislate

:59:04.:59:10.

immediately, redressing power between landlord and tenant. That

:59:11.:59:17.

can be done by giving statutory powers, hearing their voice in a way

:59:18.:59:23.

we know tragically the voices of the Grenfell Tower residents were not

:59:24.:59:27.

hurt. We can strengthen the power and the redressing tenants in both

:59:28.:59:33.

social and private housing in respect of substandard

:59:34.:59:37.

accommodation. Reference has been made to legal aid in this context.

:59:38.:59:41.

It is absolutely right we should been looking at the capacity of

:59:42.:59:45.

tenants to be able to draw upon the collate to represent their cases as

:59:46.:59:51.

well as in substandard accommodation. Will the minister be

:59:52.:59:58.

committing to date to reviewing all the scope for legislation, in terms

:59:59.:00:01.

of fire safety and building regulations. Also in terms of the

:00:02.:00:05.

rights of redressing conservation for tenants. None of which is

:00:06.:00:08.

prejudged by the Grenfell Tower enquiry, all of which progress can

:00:09.:00:15.

be made immediately. Madam Deputy Speaker, homelessness and housing

:00:16.:00:18.

needs are not equal opportunities in factors. They affect is

:00:19.:00:23.

proportionately the poorest people in the country. In the course of the

:00:24.:00:28.

last week, we have had increasingly harsh judgments on part of the

:00:29.:00:34.

media, what has happened to Grenfell residents, and how the housing needs

:00:35.:00:37.

are being met. Their housing needs do not exist in a vacuum. They face

:00:38.:00:45.

in the context of London seeing rising homelessness crises again.

:00:46.:00:48.

The number of families accepted as famous as increased by more than

:00:49.:00:53.

half. Children on a scale not seen for over, since the early part of

:00:54.:00:58.

the last decade, living their lives in temporary accommodation. I asked

:00:59.:01:03.

the housing minister before I would like to know the housing minister

:01:04.:01:07.

can answer this question today, how many of the occupants of Grenfell

:01:08.:01:12.

Tower have already been through the homelessness system? We know they

:01:13.:01:16.

were residents actually living in temporary accommodation in that

:01:17.:01:20.

building already. We know many of the families will have been through

:01:21.:01:24.

the horrific experience of homelessness already. We know

:01:25.:01:34.

families and friends and neighbours will have done so. They will be

:01:35.:01:38.

aware one of the worst experiences of homelessness in the country. We

:01:39.:01:43.

know it has the worst record in the country, of moving home is how cells

:01:44.:01:50.

away from the borough. And that families in temporary accommodation

:01:51.:01:55.

will find the word temporary is not the word we understand it to be. It

:01:56.:01:59.

means that people will live for many years, sometimes a decade or in

:02:00.:02:02.

temporary accommodation moving from one home to another. They will do

:02:03.:02:08.

anything to avoid that experience yet again. Families should not be

:02:09.:02:12.

expected to move more than once. And have an absolute right to know that

:02:13.:02:18.

their housing needs will be met swiftly, but also fairly and

:02:19.:02:19.

decently. Because this does not exist in a

:02:20.:02:29.

vacuum that housing need should not be met at the expense of other

:02:30.:02:34.

vulnerable homeless households. It is already the case that in

:02:35.:02:36.

neighbouring borough the allocations process has slowed and at some cases

:02:37.:02:42.

stopped, hopefully temporarily, whilst presidents is rightly given

:02:43.:02:46.

at the moment to Grenfell survivors. But that cannot be allowed to stand

:02:47.:02:51.

over the medium term. We have to know and have a categorical

:02:52.:02:55.

assurance from the Minister that families will not in other boroughs

:02:56.:02:59.

and, indeed, Kensington, who also homeless and in housing need, be

:03:00.:03:03.

pushed to the back of the queue and have their needs are met because the

:03:04.:03:07.

council and the Government are not working together to meet the needs

:03:08.:03:11.

of all of their families. While on the issue of equal

:03:12.:03:15.

opportunities, we also know the story of investment in local

:03:16.:03:20.

services is not a fair and equal opportunities one. Urban authorities

:03:21.:03:24.

have been hardest hit by Government cuts in local authority expenditure

:03:25.:03:28.

since 2010. On present trends, by the end of the decade, funding for

:03:29.:03:33.

local Government will have fallen by 70%. That has to be understood in a

:03:34.:03:37.

context of the measures that local authorities want to take and to

:03:38.:03:41.

assure their residents that they are taking in respect of fire safety in

:03:42.:03:49.

the high-rise blocks. It is simply not satisfactory for the Minister in

:03:50.:03:52.

his opening remarks to tell us that only local authorities demonstrating

:03:53.:03:56.

they cannot afford to meet high Democrat fire safety works will be

:03:57.:04:00.

reimbursed, what message does that sound too anxious residents who want

:04:01.:04:03.

to know their safety is paramount? What clarity can the Minister gave

:04:04.:04:07.

about what forms of recommendations from the fire Brigade regarding fire

:04:08.:04:13.

safety will meet the criteria by the Government to fund that? Will the

:04:14.:04:16.

Minister confirm he understands that any expenditure met by local

:04:17.:04:19.

authorities will come from tenants and leaseholders and that will

:04:20.:04:26.

certainly be in competition with the resources needed to fund repairs and

:04:27.:04:32.

maintenance elsewhere in the system? I have already quoted the figure,

:04:33.:04:36.

basic repairs and maintenance of social housing was 9.7% lower this

:04:37.:04:42.

year than last year and 22% lower than it was in 2010. Finally, in

:04:43.:04:48.

respect of other services as well, we are hearing great work being done

:04:49.:04:54.

by mental health and health services in the borough, much needed to work

:04:55.:04:58.

with survivors and local residents. Will they also be fully funded and

:04:59.:05:02.

reimbursed by central government so that mental health and other

:05:03.:05:05.

services that Kensington and the surrounding boroughs will not be put

:05:06.:05:09.

at risk all compromised in any way because of stepping up to the plate

:05:10.:05:13.

of those crucial public services? And my final point is this, we also

:05:14.:05:17.

heard from the Minister in his opening remarks that there was a

:05:18.:05:22.

fundamental lack of clarity about the task force is being sent into

:05:23.:05:26.

Kensington, what it was going to do and what it duties were going to be.

:05:27.:05:34.

But it will not be an authority with any executive function whatsoever.

:05:35.:05:37.

Can the Minister be absolutely clear in saying to us what this means?

:05:38.:05:42.

What it means is won the gold operation finishes the functions of

:05:43.:05:47.

servers will be handed back to the already deeply discredited

:05:48.:05:49.

Kensington and Chelsea Council, where the trust has already totally

:05:50.:05:55.

collapsed. Does the Minister find that acceptable? I doubt that the

:05:56.:05:58.

people of Kensington will, so powerfully set out already by my

:05:59.:06:03.

friend the member for Kensington. I do not think they trust the task

:06:04.:06:07.

force, I think they want to see the Government demonstrating there will

:06:08.:06:10.

be a radically different approach to meeting their needs. We have not

:06:11.:06:14.

heard that yet, the Minister has the chance to put that right later. To

:06:15.:06:20.

make her maiden speech, Joe Platt. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker for

:06:21.:06:26.

allowing me to make my maiden speech following my honourable friend the

:06:27.:06:30.

Westminster North and within this important debate. The tragedy of

:06:31.:06:34.

Grenfell was felt all over the nation. I am sure I speak for all of

:06:35.:06:39.

my constituency who send their thoughts and prayers to all those

:06:40.:06:44.

affected and similarly want a swift and timely response from the

:06:45.:06:48.

investigation into the events of that terrible night. The community

:06:49.:06:52.

surrounding Grenfell want answers, if we have learned anything from

:06:53.:06:57.

past tragedies, the voice of the community must be given paramount

:06:58.:07:03.

attention. Madam Deputy Speaker, I would firstly like to pay tribute to

:07:04.:07:06.

the people of Leigh for placing their that trust in me to stand here

:07:07.:07:15.

is their first female member of Parliament. This is made more

:07:16.:07:20.

important is the fast approach 100 years of unbroken Labour

:07:21.:07:23.

representation for the people of Leigh. I would like to thank my

:07:24.:07:30.

family for all their support. My mother, father, sisters, especially

:07:31.:07:34.

my two children, the drivers for my political ambition. As a single

:07:35.:07:39.

mother from a working-class background, wanting what is best for

:07:40.:07:44.

them is wanting what is best for the future of everyone within our

:07:45.:07:50.

country. Without them I would not be stood here today. Leigh always

:07:51.:07:55.

benefited from its strong Labour voices that it elects to this house.

:07:56.:07:59.

With that in mind I would like to pay tribute to my predecessors,

:08:00.:08:04.

Harold Boardman, Lawrence Cunliffe and, of course, my most recent

:08:05.:08:09.

predecessor, Andy Burnham. Andy served this house with commitment

:08:10.:08:15.

for 16 years. His work on the Hillsborough disaster and more

:08:16.:08:19.

recently the contaminated blood scandal, his strength and passion

:08:20.:08:24.

for truth and justice will forever be his legacy. This is something I

:08:25.:08:30.

can only aspire to emulate. But it was not just this how that benefited

:08:31.:08:36.

from Andy's work. And he was a formidable constituency MP, forging

:08:37.:08:39.

great relationships within our communities, fighting tirelessly for

:08:40.:08:45.

those that did not have a voice and the constantly pushing for

:08:46.:08:49.

regeneration of the constituency, driving projects like the creation

:08:50.:08:53.

of Leigh sports Village, the home to the best rugby league team in the

:08:54.:09:02.

country, Leigh centurions. I am sure this house will want to wish Andy

:09:03.:09:07.

Burnham every success in his role as Greater Manchester mayor. I am in no

:09:08.:09:13.

doubt that he will use his position to ensure that devolution is used to

:09:14.:09:18.

enhance the lives of everyone within Greater Manchester. Madam Deputy

:09:19.:09:24.

Speaker, Leigh and its people have always had a sense of social

:09:25.:09:29.

justice. From towns that lie within such as Tildesley, Atherton and the

:09:30.:09:34.

smaller villages of Mosley Common etc, each with an historic story to

:09:35.:09:42.

tell. From early focus on agriculture and the controversial

:09:43.:09:48.

creation of the spinning Jenny, as with most places in the North gave

:09:49.:09:52.

way to the might of the Industrial Revolution, in particular coal and

:09:53.:09:56.

cotton, all linked by the canal network. The legacy of Leigh's

:09:57.:10:03.

industrial past can be seen in the remaining red brick mills and the

:10:04.:10:07.

iconic mining gear in Astley, which is sadly the last remaining one in

:10:08.:10:12.

the whole of Lancashire. Fortunately the good people of Leigh want to

:10:13.:10:15.

keep this alive and I look forward to the Heritage Project linking hole

:10:16.:10:21.

at Astley via the canal to the great cotton mill of the Leigh spinners.

:10:22.:10:25.

With most post-industrial areas we have seen years of decline. Our

:10:26.:10:31.

manufacturing industry garnered not replaced, infrastructure like the

:10:32.:10:35.

rail taken away and town centres declining. It is a common story

:10:36.:10:40.

shared by many constituencies. Social mobility is a huge problem

:10:41.:10:47.

for young people in Leigh, for those unable to get support to go to

:10:48.:10:52.

college or university. With the lack of post-16 education leaving young

:10:53.:10:56.

people are only able to access low paid, low skilled jobs. We should

:10:57.:10:59.

ensure that new industries and skills should be at the forefront of

:11:00.:11:06.

regeneration in Leigh. Madam Deputy Speaker, I have spent the last six

:11:07.:11:10.

years elected as a councillor in local government. I have watched

:11:11.:11:14.

this government's austerity measures chipped away at essential public

:11:15.:11:20.

services. Cuts to adult social care and children services is nothing but

:11:21.:11:23.

an attack on the most vulnerable in society. But I have also seen local

:11:24.:11:30.

authorities and communities fight back. Supporting and empowering the

:11:31.:11:36.

very people it serves. I am proud to have been part of the innovative way

:11:37.:11:41.

that services have dealt with such measures, supporting communities by

:11:42.:11:44.

doing what they have always done in times of crisis, supporting each

:11:45.:11:51.

other. Just like in the 1980s miners' strike and just as they are

:11:52.:11:56.

now. From homeless shelters, food banks, countless volunteers that

:11:57.:12:00.

want to keep our heritage alive. This is what you call a social

:12:01.:12:05.

movement. Communities working tirelessly to ensure each other are

:12:06.:12:11.

supported. Today I would like to pay tribute to those that give their

:12:12.:12:16.

time to do such work. My own experience of education in the 1980s

:12:17.:12:20.

was not good. Of course, in my school there were many success

:12:21.:12:25.

stories, but many struggled without adequate support and without being

:12:26.:12:28.

equipped to face the challenges of the changing economic landscape.

:12:29.:12:33.

Many left school without qualifications, ambitions and hope.

:12:34.:12:38.

Today our children and young people face the same challenges, from cuts

:12:39.:12:42.

to early years, the cuts to early intervention grants and cuts to do

:12:43.:12:52.

well. We cannot afford to see our children suffer because of ignorance

:12:53.:12:57.

to the challenges faced by our more deprived communities, and I will do

:12:58.:13:01.

all I can to ensure that all aspects of our children's lives are

:13:02.:13:05.

adequately supported. Madam Deputy Speaker, I am proud to stand amongst

:13:06.:13:10.

Labour colleagues, alongside our men and women and in particular the new

:13:11.:13:15.

intake. All sporting their individual regional accents. How

:13:16.:13:21.

refreshing! I am proud of my working class roots and of those that built

:13:22.:13:26.

the very area I now represent. When we talk about standing on the

:13:27.:13:30.

shoulders of giants, these are the Giants I wish to tribute myself too.

:13:31.:13:35.

Let's not forget that there are giants now who are also making

:13:36.:13:39.

history. I stand side by side with them. Our WASPI women, are miners

:13:40.:13:47.

fighting for lost pensions, are veterans who is still not receiving

:13:48.:13:50.

the support they are owed once they leave service. Our disabled and sick

:13:51.:13:56.

who have been Ajer -- unfairly treated by our systems, and our

:13:57.:14:01.

public services, the police, fire servers, NHS and schools. These are

:14:02.:14:06.

the backbone of our communities and what these representatives amidst

:14:07.:14:11.

continued to stand up for. To conclude, there is no reason for

:14:12.:14:15.

people in Leigh or anywhere to ensure the insecurities they face

:14:16.:14:19.

now. It is a choice, H Rose to defend our communities and public

:14:20.:14:24.

services that I have been sent to fight for on behalf of the people of

:14:25.:14:28.

Leigh -- a choice to defend our communities. Thank you.

:14:29.:14:34.

Chris Elmore. I am not sure if this has been planned or not but it is

:14:35.:14:40.

nice as the regional web for the honourable member of the Leeds to

:14:41.:14:44.

congratulate her on a wonderful speech, she obviously has big shoes

:14:45.:14:48.

to fill but it is clear she will be more than able to fill them and she

:14:49.:14:51.

will be a credit to this house and the people of Leigh.

:14:52.:14:56.

Thank you for letting me speak in this debate. Can I start by adding

:14:57.:15:01.

my thanks to the emergency services and their bravery in the Grenfell

:15:02.:15:06.

Tower fire, and also my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the people

:15:07.:15:09.

who lost their lives, their families and the people who have lost their

:15:10.:15:13.

homes. In the brief time I will take to speak I want to focus on an issue

:15:14.:15:17.

I firmly believe has not received enough attention in the aftermath of

:15:18.:15:20.

the fire. Since the fire last month the media, we in this house and the

:15:21.:15:25.

wider public have sought answers for what cause such a disaster. In doing

:15:26.:15:31.

so, cladding, individuals and the local authority have taken much of

:15:32.:15:36.

the blame. But in today's debate I rise to highlight the role that

:15:37.:15:39.

installation could have played in the hope that both this House and

:15:40.:15:45.

the inquiry will consider the consequences of flammable insulation

:15:46.:15:50.

rather than inflammable alternatives -- I wish to highlight the role that

:15:51.:15:54.

installation could have played. Grenfell Tower was insulated with a

:15:55.:16:03.

foam product which is known as PIR. PIR is flammable. In small-scale

:16:04.:16:08.

tests the material appears to limit its combustibility, and a genuine

:16:09.:16:14.

fire conditions it is nothing short of compostable. The second issue is

:16:15.:16:19.

when it is ignited, PIR releases toxic, deadly fumes, the most

:16:20.:16:24.

notorious of which is hydrogen cyanide, the toss -- toxic substance

:16:25.:16:29.

is confirmed as being treated from a number of Grenfell survivors. In the

:16:30.:16:33.

vast market of insulation there are many alternatives to PIR. The key

:16:34.:16:38.

point is that installation has been developed which is simply not

:16:39.:16:47.

combustible. Insulation engineered could have saved lives and Gretel

:16:48.:16:52.

and many of the previous fires. The two key problems with foam

:16:53.:16:55.

insulation Mike PIR are completely avoidable stone wall. It is not

:16:56.:16:59.

compostable solute does not encourage or spread fire.

:17:00.:17:06.

It does not create the problem of toxic product inhalation.

:17:07.:17:16.

Instructors are aware of using foam or fibreglass products. They cannot

:17:17.:17:19.

find the funds to use non-combustible. I am not suggesting

:17:20.:17:29.

private developers should be legally bound to develop of a particular

:17:30.:17:32.

type of installation. They are commercial decisions, and those

:17:33.:17:36.

decisions for those businesses and developers. What I would hope is

:17:37.:17:45.

that those businesses would put public safety at the heart of

:17:46.:17:48.

whatever they are constructing in the public sector. In social

:17:49.:17:54.

housing, there is, and in many members opinions, housing to protect

:17:55.:18:02.

the most vulnerable. It should be the responsibility of government to

:18:03.:18:07.

legislate that installation used on social housing is of a

:18:08.:18:11.

noncombustible nature. Even this week I have placed written questions

:18:12.:18:17.

to the House and the Department for Communities and Local Government,

:18:18.:18:20.

asking what they will be doing to test for combustibility. The reply

:18:21.:18:24.

from ministers if they are doing nothing, offering no testing, they

:18:25.:18:28.

have no plans to. Today I have written to the conductor of enquiry

:18:29.:18:36.

to asking what role installation will be playing in his report? The

:18:37.:18:41.

government have treated it as an afterthought. Thank you Mr Deputy

:18:42.:18:50.

Speaker. It is almost one month since the horrific tragedy which

:18:51.:18:53.

took place Grenfell Tower, Kensington. I would like to take

:18:54.:18:58.

this opportunity to offer my sympathies, along with my colleagues

:18:59.:19:02.

who have added theirs, to all the individuals, and their which endure

:19:03.:19:08.

this horrific ordeal, and the loss and uncertainty they have

:19:09.:19:13.

encountered since. This has had an impact, as colleagues have said, far

:19:14.:19:18.

beyond Kensington and London itself. In my constituency of Redditch,

:19:19.:19:23.

there have been outpourings of sympathy, there have been practical

:19:24.:19:28.

help offered. Residents are rallying around, organising donations of

:19:29.:19:32.

goods and much-needed items to the victims. I do welcome the actions

:19:33.:19:37.

that the government and local authority have taken so far,

:19:38.:19:41.

including emergency funding made available. Andy Reid housing of the

:19:42.:19:47.

surviving residents. I would call on the Minister today to confirm

:19:48.:19:50.

everything is indeed being done to help the poor families who have

:19:51.:19:55.

suffered and lost so much. Taking into account the needs of each

:19:56.:20:00.

individual family, to make sure they have a home right for them to

:20:01.:20:06.

rebuild their lives. I welcome the deployment of experienced civil

:20:07.:20:10.

servants. We recognise this is a complex situation they are dealing

:20:11.:20:13.

with. Supporting the council in their response. I welcome the

:20:14.:20:19.

additional 1.5 million to assist on delivering mental health support to

:20:20.:20:23.

victims. We can only imagine how devastating it must be for people

:20:24.:20:31.

who are enduring that mental trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder

:20:32.:20:34.

as they look to rebuild their lives. I welcome the funding to make sure

:20:35.:20:38.

residents are included in the enquiry. That is my honourable

:20:39.:20:42.

friend agree with me it is in the interests of the residents of

:20:43.:20:46.

Grenfell, and their friends and families, and those who died that we

:20:47.:20:50.

allow Sir Martin to start the enquiry, and get on with the job of

:20:51.:20:54.

establishing the facts of the case before speculating further. It is

:20:55.:20:59.

right that enquiry is launched, so we may learn from this terrible

:21:00.:21:04.

incident, surely it is better to understand the events that led to

:21:05.:21:08.

disaster and so prevent a similar tragedy from occurring again. We're

:21:09.:21:14.

doing that in Redditch Borough Council, and I congratulate the

:21:15.:21:17.

council for looking at an emergency disaster response that they have

:21:18.:21:22.

reviewed and launched in response to the events. Even though we do not

:21:23.:21:26.

have tower blocks. We recognise the impact on other public buildings,

:21:27.:21:30.

including schools and hospitals, and I welcome that. As the Secretary of

:21:31.:21:37.

State himself recognised, the national and local response was not

:21:38.:21:42.

good enough in the aftermath. Processes must be rectified to

:21:43.:21:45.

better support victims in the future. I would like to ask the

:21:46.:21:50.

Minister to confirm again what steps the Department are taking to review

:21:51.:21:54.

emergency planning procedures to insure responses in the future are

:21:55.:21:58.

rapid and effective, giving proper support to victims. I am pleased to

:21:59.:22:03.

see precautions and checks made by the Department for Communities and

:22:04.:22:06.

Local Government, alongside the government property unit, to oversee

:22:07.:22:11.

building regulations, and checks on wider public sector building. I was

:22:12.:22:15.

deeply shocked and concerned by the incident of Grenfell Tower, leading

:22:16.:22:21.

me to get assurances from Redditch Borough Council about the safety of

:22:22.:22:25.

council owned housing. I may colleagues on both sides of the

:22:26.:22:29.

House are doing the same. I was pleased to learn that all properties

:22:30.:22:33.

within our borough contain cladding and installation certified and

:22:34.:22:37.

installed to stringent national recommendations. I finish by calling

:22:38.:22:43.

on the Secretary of State to consider reviewing building

:22:44.:22:46.

regulations and fire safety procedures in light of the results

:22:47.:22:49.

of the Grenfell Tower enquiry. This will help us to ensure current

:22:50.:22:54.

regulations are up to date. Taking into account all the learning from

:22:55.:22:59.

this tragedy. And that all efforts are continued to be made around the

:23:00.:23:03.

country. Giving people living in tower blocks, or spending leisure

:23:04.:23:10.

time or educational time in public buildings, leisure, community

:23:11.:23:12.

centres, hospitals, schools, to ensure they are safe. Thank you Mr

:23:13.:23:22.

Deputy Speaker. I'm glad to be able to contribute to the debate. I want

:23:23.:23:25.

to start by congratulating my honourable friends making maiden

:23:26.:23:31.

speeches. A pleasure to hear them. Especially my neighbour in greater

:23:32.:23:33.

Manchester my honourable friend for I want to offer my deep condolences

:23:34.:23:44.

to the victims of the Grenfell tragedy. Unimaginable horror for

:23:45.:23:50.

those affected. When we first learned of it, just after the

:23:51.:23:56.

general election, it seems to me everyone around the household,

:23:57.:24:02.

especially ministers were horrified by the scale of what occurred. A

:24:03.:24:10.

real sense of determination right across the House to act and ensure

:24:11.:24:13.

nothing like this could happen again in our country. I don't question Mr

:24:14.:24:20.

Deputy Speaker, ministers' deep sense of responsibility, and they

:24:21.:24:27.

wish to make things different. The reality already, so quickly, we seem

:24:28.:24:32.

to have lost the sense of impetus we seem ready be down in the mire of

:24:33.:24:39.

uncertainty about who is responsible, when we are going to

:24:40.:24:43.

have clarity about what will keep people safe, playing out amongst

:24:44.:24:52.

tenants and leaseholders, in my community. We have 14 high-rise

:24:53.:25:00.

blocks. Eight are owned by social landlords, seven Trafford housing

:25:01.:25:05.

trust, the remainder are owned by a range of private companies, whose

:25:06.:25:11.

names are frankly meaningless. I have no idea who owns them. We also

:25:12.:25:17.

have major housing development going on in my constituency, and more,

:25:18.:25:27.

when you hide my stocks are being constructive. We have a place for

:25:28.:25:36.

good high-rise housing. If these new buildings are not being constructive

:25:37.:25:41.

to the very highest of standards, that we should expect in the light

:25:42.:25:45.

of Grenfell, and we're not sure what those standards should look like I

:25:46.:25:49.

would suggest that the developer needs to be paused until we can be

:25:50.:25:55.

confident about it. One of my social landlords said to me the other day,

:25:56.:25:59.

when I asked how things felt, he said it is continuing to get worse.

:26:00.:26:04.

What he meant was continuing and increasing uncertainty as more and

:26:05.:26:09.

more things become unclear about the actions that need to be taken. I

:26:10.:26:15.

recognise it is inordinately complex mix of factors to be considered, but

:26:16.:26:20.

that is no use to landlords and tenants who are trying to make

:26:21.:26:24.

decisions about how to act in response to concerns about safety. I

:26:25.:26:29.

urge ministers to do everything they can to give clarity and certainty at

:26:30.:26:34.

the highest common as soon as possible. First of all in relation

:26:35.:26:40.

to cladding. We have a small number of blocks in Trafford partially

:26:41.:26:46.

clad. For the cladding has failed the flammability tests. The

:26:47.:26:49.

intention is to remove that cladding. That work is not yet

:26:50.:26:54.

begun. Property owners cannot be sure in removing the cladding they

:26:55.:26:58.

may not make the buildings even less safe. My honourable friend alluded

:26:59.:27:05.

to concerns about installation. It is the intention of landlords to

:27:06.:27:09.

have that installation tested. Can ministers saying now why it is the

:27:10.:27:16.

case that the testing in installation is not being mandated

:27:17.:27:20.

and put on the same footing with the same resources as the testing of

:27:21.:27:28.

cladding? I find it quite inexcusable. Can I ask ministers,

:27:29.:27:36.

what the results have been whether testing has been carried out?

:27:37.:27:42.

Secondly in relation to sprinklers, absolutely clear across the House

:27:43.:27:47.

the view is that sprinklers should be retrofitted. It would be helpful

:27:48.:27:54.

to understand if ministers have a view, whether it may be appropriate

:27:55.:27:58.

to install sprinkler systems on the outside of buildings as well is on

:27:59.:28:02.

the inside. Whether any individual homes or common areas. An indication

:28:03.:28:10.

of ministers' attitudes to those questions would be helpful.

:28:11.:28:15.

Similarly with fire escapes, do ministers have view whether planning

:28:16.:28:18.

legislation could accommodate the possibility that additional external

:28:19.:28:22.

escapes may be needed in some buildings. Is there advice to be

:28:23.:28:28.

given on alarm systems, the level of safety checks that landlords should

:28:29.:28:33.

be carrying out. Advice as to whether people should be staying put

:28:34.:28:37.

in flats, or leaving in the event of a reported fire. What assessment is

:28:38.:28:44.

being made as to whether remedial activity may exclude dangers. In

:28:45.:28:55.

relation to asbestos? Ministers have particular obligations working with

:28:56.:28:59.

asbestos safety first can we have absolute clarity, I am not clear, I

:29:00.:29:03.

know that landlords are not clear about the precise nature of the

:29:04.:29:08.

responsibility of the Fire Service and the landlords. Are the Fire

:29:09.:29:13.

Service giving advice? Which landlords need to weigh up, how to

:29:14.:29:18.

interpret or act on. Is the Fire Service advice men that I am not

:29:19.:29:24.

clear, landlords are not clear. Can they give us clarity? The assurance

:29:25.:29:29.

we have been getting from ministers is pretty opaque. Here's landlords

:29:30.:29:36.

and councils are not able to meet the costs, ministers and government

:29:37.:29:40.

will work with them. That really tells us nothing. We cannot have the

:29:41.:29:46.

tenants bearing these costs. We cannot expect leaseholders to bear

:29:47.:29:49.

them. Social landlords and councils will run out of money as they put

:29:50.:29:55.

the rent and measures in place. Ministers need to say really

:29:56.:29:59.

clearly, they will underwrite costs as a minimum. The last resort for

:30:00.:30:04.

funding, not working with landlords, that funding measures will be met by

:30:05.:30:11.

central government. Mr Deputy Speaker, I would like to mention a

:30:12.:30:16.

couple of other aspects of the risks identified, and the questions

:30:17.:30:19.

landlords in particular are asking me this first of all in relation to

:30:20.:30:25.

the removal of cladding, that is happening across greater Manchester

:30:26.:30:28.

and the country. Happening during summer months when the warmth and

:30:29.:30:36.

protective effects of the cladding on the standards of decency in those

:30:37.:30:41.

homes is not a major issue. Come the winter, if we have not replace

:30:42.:30:44.

cladding with new means of keeping homes warm and dry, we're likely to

:30:45.:30:50.

see a rise in cold, damp homes. Respiratory illness, and the

:30:51.:30:55.

problems we see in our constituency surgeries all the time. And of

:30:56.:31:00.

course, extra costs for householders, going to spend this

:31:01.:31:01.

winter turning up the heating. Many of those householders are

:31:02.:31:11.

relatively low incomes. It would be helpful of ministers could indicate

:31:12.:31:15.

now that where it has not been possible to make those homes warm

:31:16.:31:18.

and dry again in time for winter there will be held for tenants to

:31:19.:31:21.

meet heating bills, because they will need that assurance otherwise,

:31:22.:31:26.

as we know, the poorer stand elderly tenants will simply turn off

:31:27.:31:33.

heating, as great Peshmerga at great risk to the health and well-being.

:31:34.:31:38.

My final point, the position of vulnerable tenants, particularly in

:31:39.:31:43.

sheltered accommodation. We know there are, thankfully not my

:31:44.:31:47.

constituency but in some parts of greater Manchester, sheltered blocks

:31:48.:31:50.

which are high-rise. We know that even low rate sheltered housing is,

:31:51.:31:55.

is one of my social landlords put it to me, basically a tower block

:31:56.:32:00.

turned on its side. There are many, many vulnerable tenants in large

:32:01.:32:04.

sheltered housing accommodation. We need the Government to work with

:32:05.:32:08.

landlords on strategies, particularly to protect vulnerable

:32:09.:32:11.

tenants, whether in dedicated sheltered accommodation or not. Mai

:32:12.:32:16.

tai asked ministers to give particular consideration to one I

:32:17.:32:20.

admit very contentious issue, that data sharing. One of the things I

:32:21.:32:24.

was told in the immediate aftermath of Grenfell Tower, as my social

:32:25.:32:29.

landlords began to take action to make the premises safe and offer

:32:30.:32:33.

assurances to tenants, as they didn't know not only who was in a

:32:34.:32:37.

free flat but what particular vulnerabilities those tenants might

:32:38.:32:43.

have. So far as possible information is being shared across social

:32:44.:32:48.

services, with schools, with NHS commissioners and others, but there

:32:49.:32:52.

are obviously real difficulties and sensitivities in doing that. Could I

:32:53.:32:57.

say to ministers, because I know the Government and ministers are

:32:58.:33:00.

bringing forward a data protection Bill in the course of this

:33:01.:33:04.

Parliament, that this is an opportunity to think carefully and

:33:05.:33:07.

constructively about getting a balance that respects individual

:33:08.:33:12.

privacy and data but allows for appropriate access when that is

:33:13.:33:22.

important for health, safety and the preservation of life, and I hope

:33:23.:33:24.

that will be fed in as ministers begin to develop the legislation.

:33:25.:33:26.

This appalling atrocity has the potential to bring some good out of

:33:27.:33:31.

it, only if ministers maintain the determination and resolve we saw in

:33:32.:33:35.

the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. I asked them, for the sake

:33:36.:33:39.

of those who have died and those who have lost family members, and those

:33:40.:33:43.

living today in tower blocks or those who will in future, you must

:33:44.:33:51.

take on that responsibility. Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I

:33:52.:33:54.

would like to congratulate honourable members who have made

:33:55.:34:00.

such powerful maiden speeches today, including in particular might south

:34:01.:34:03.

London constituency neighbours, the honourable members the Lewisham West

:34:04.:34:07.

and pension and Croydon Central, with whom I look forward for working

:34:08.:34:14.

on the issues that affect all our constituents in south London. The

:34:15.:34:18.

Grenfell Tower fire was an unspeakable howler which --

:34:19.:34:22.

unspeakable horror which became an unimaginable tragedy for many people

:34:23.:34:27.

who lost parents, sisters, brothers, children, friends, the fabric of

:34:28.:34:32.

their lives, the basis of verse acuity and community. My thoughts

:34:33.:34:36.

are with all those affected by such devastating loss and, indeed, over

:34:37.:34:40.

the past month, it has often been hard to think about anything else.

:34:41.:34:45.

The fire has had a profound impact on all those directly affected but

:34:46.:34:49.

also the wider community in Kensington and in London and on the

:34:50.:35:00.

country as a whole. The first priority must, of course, be help

:35:01.:35:02.

and support for five-year survivors to access new homes within their

:35:03.:35:05.

existing communities -- for survivors of the fire to access new

:35:06.:35:08.

homes within their existing communities which provide the

:35:09.:35:11.

support they need and help them to rebuild their lives. The consequence

:35:12.:35:15.

of the Grenfell Tower fire from residents across the country has

:35:16.:35:18.

been a colossal loss of confidence and trust. Because somewhere along

:35:19.:35:24.

the line, the systems, regulations, standards, inspections and emergency

:35:25.:35:29.

procedures put there to keep people safe have failed to do so. There

:35:30.:35:35.

have been two fires in tower blocks in my constituency since the

:35:36.:35:38.

Grenfell Tower fire and I was on site on one of those occasions as

:35:39.:35:44.

the fire broke out. The level of anxiety and fear that residents in

:35:45.:35:47.

tower blocks fear at the moment cannot be overstated. In working to

:35:48.:35:54.

ensure that such a tragedy can never happen again, the Government must

:35:55.:35:58.

focus on how confidence and trust can be rebuilt so that residents of

:35:59.:36:03.

tower blocks across the country can rest easy again without any shadow

:36:04.:36:07.

of a doubt that the framework of governance, regulation and

:36:08.:36:11.

inspection men to keep them safe can do so. I was elected as a councillor

:36:12.:36:16.

in the London Borough of Southwark and 2010, the year after the Lakanal

:36:17.:36:20.

House fire, part of a new administration of the Council,

:36:21.:36:24.

picking up the pieces after the devastating tragedy in which six

:36:25.:36:29.

people lost their lives. Fire safety was the council's top priority.

:36:30.:36:34.

Every block was subject to rigorous fire risk assessment, starting with

:36:35.:36:38.

the tallest blocks and working down, the council spent more than ?60

:36:39.:36:42.

million in fire safety works. Fire safety is an ongoing responsibility

:36:43.:36:47.

which must be monitored and assessed constantly, so I do not suggest

:36:48.:36:50.

there is room for complacency in Southwark or there is not more to

:36:51.:36:54.

do, but the level of commitment to ensure that the Lakanal could not

:36:55.:36:57.

happen again was crystal clear. Lakanal House should have been the

:36:58.:37:01.

wake-up call nudges for a single borough but for the country as a

:37:02.:37:06.

whole. -- not just for a single borough. The fact it was not lives

:37:07.:37:12.

in a lack of political will and commitment by Government ideological

:37:13.:37:15.

recommitted to deregulation at all cost and reducing public

:37:16.:37:18.

expenditure, and in seven years of deep cuts to local and central

:37:19.:37:22.

Government and emergency services. The obsession with deregulation is

:37:23.:37:26.

illustrated in the words of the Housing minister in 2013 who said

:37:27.:37:29.

following advice from the Lakanal House coroner that the Government

:37:30.:37:33.

should consider progressing the installation of sprinkler systems

:37:34.:37:37.

all tower blocks, we believe it is the responsibility of the fire

:37:38.:37:41.

industry rather than the Government to market fire spread the systems

:37:42.:37:45.

effectively and to encourage their wider installation. What utter

:37:46.:37:49.

nonsense. It is the responsibility of Government to keep people safe.

:37:50.:37:54.

This requires a framework of regulation and funding, not a

:37:55.:37:58.

private marketing campaign for sprinkler -- for sprinklers. It is

:37:59.:38:01.

the same ideological driven approach to deregulation which has resulted

:38:02.:38:07.

in the review of building regulations called for by the

:38:08.:38:11.

Lakanal House coroner to be left in the long grass football years. There

:38:12.:38:14.

are multiple problems to address with the regulatory framework. Fire

:38:15.:38:18.

risk assessments can be undertaken by anyone, there is no requirement

:38:19.:38:23.

for any minimal level of qualification, expertise or

:38:24.:38:25.

registration and the requirement for independence. There is no minimum

:38:26.:38:29.

requirement for the number of building control inspections which

:38:30.:38:33.

have to be undertaken during construction works, allowing defects

:38:34.:38:37.

to be built and then covered up in between inspections. The PPG for

:38:38.:38:42.

excellence in the built environment published a report a year ago which

:38:43.:38:47.

highlighted this issue. It said that we are concerned that competition

:38:48.:38:50.

and building control might fuel a race to the bottom and we therefore

:38:51.:38:54.

recommend a defined minimum number of inspections. There has been no

:38:55.:38:58.

action from the Government on this issue. Building control inspections

:38:59.:39:03.

can be self procured from private providers setting up a contractual

:39:04.:39:06.

relationship between construction contractors building control

:39:07.:39:11.

inspectors, which lacks independence and can therefore be compromised.

:39:12.:39:15.

The Government cannot pretend that austerity is not part of the

:39:16.:39:20.

problem. There has been a huge loss of local authority capacity due to

:39:21.:39:23.

cuts to council budgets, planning and building control is the second

:39:24.:39:28.

most severely cut area of expenditure across local authority

:39:29.:39:32.

services and there has been a huge loss of capacity in DC are cheap and

:39:33.:39:38.

within the emergency services. So it is clear that even without the

:39:39.:39:41.

conclusions of a public inquiry, there are actions the Government can

:39:42.:39:45.

and must take now to rebuild the trust of residents living in tower

:39:46.:39:49.

blocks, acting on advice already received and information already

:39:50.:39:54.

known. There must be a complete overhaul of the fire safety

:39:55.:39:58.

inspection regime, responsibility must be restored to the Fire Service

:39:59.:40:02.

on a completely independent and statutory footing and cuts to the

:40:03.:40:05.

Fire Service must be reversed to enable them to fulfil this role.

:40:06.:40:11.

There must be a complete overhaul of building regulations, as called for

:40:12.:40:14.

by the Lakanal House coroner four years ago, and its recommendations

:40:15.:40:19.

must apply to existing buildings, as well as new builds. Residents must

:40:20.:40:23.

be given a voice. The Government must provide urgent clarity on the

:40:24.:40:28.

safety of cladding products of all types, not just aluminium composite

:40:29.:40:32.

cladding and insulation, including advice on safe replacements for

:40:33.:40:33.

panels which need to be removed and specifications for new buildings

:40:34.:41:03.

and, importantly, there must be new rights for residents and high-rise

:41:04.:41:05.

blocks with concerns about fire safety to trigger an independent

:41:06.:41:07.

inspection, the outcome of which has statutory weight. Finally, the

:41:08.:41:08.

government must stop playing semantic games around the funding

:41:09.:41:11.

for fire safety works arising as a consequence of the Grenfell Tower

:41:12.:41:13.

fire. In response to a written question I submitted last week on

:41:14.:41:15.

this matter, necessary to ensure the safety of social housing, we will

:41:16.:41:18.

ensure that a lack of financial roads, where work is necessary to

:41:19.:41:20.

ensure the safety of social housing, we will ensure that a lack of

:41:21.:41:23.

financial resources or not? He will make the decision? Grenfell Tower

:41:24.:41:25.

came out of the blue and the steps to put it right cannot be at the

:41:26.:41:28.

expense of planned maintenance or major works or the delivery of

:41:29.:41:31.

urgently needed new homes. The Government must make a firm

:41:32.:41:35.

commitment to fund fire safety works, sprinkler systems and the

:41:36.:41:39.

replacement of cladding required in response to grant -- to Grenfell

:41:40.:41:46.

Tower, and it must make it as a matter of urgency. I call on the

:41:47.:41:48.

Government to begin addressing the fears that communities across the

:41:49.:41:52.

country has because of Grenfell Tower, and restoring trust and

:41:53.:41:54.

confidence in the systems which are there to protect people. The

:41:55.:41:57.

memories of those who lost their lives must be respected and honoured

:41:58.:42:02.

by making absolutely certain that such a tragedy can never happen

:42:03.:42:08.

again. Jim Fitzpatrick. I'm very pleased to follow my honourable

:42:09.:42:13.

friend from Dulwich and West Norwood for her typically thoughtful

:42:14.:42:16.

contribution in this important debate. I am pleased to have had the

:42:17.:42:19.

chance to listen to maiden speeches from colleagues from Leeds North

:42:20.:42:25.

West, Leigh, Croydon Central, Barnsley East and Lewisham West and

:42:26.:42:31.

Penge. I was trying to think of the collective noun for a gaggle of

:42:32.:42:35.

maiden speeches, on this occasion it is a feast, we have had a feast of

:42:36.:42:40.

maiden speeches. Their constituencies -- their constituents

:42:41.:42:43.

must be proud already and I know they will work hard to repay

:42:44.:42:46.

confidence shown in my honourable friend is in the months and years

:42:47.:42:55.

ahead. The first secretary in his contribution referred to the

:42:56.:42:57.

guidance and approve documents be, an essential element of the building

:42:58.:43:01.

regulations. He said the expert panel would advise the Secretary of

:43:02.:43:05.

State and I wish to ask about this issue. Speaking for Her Majesty's

:43:06.:43:12.

opposition, I made comment on this aspect of matters relevant to

:43:13.:43:15.

Grenfell, he said Government can start with the overhaul of building

:43:16.:43:20.

regulations now up and feed into the public inquiry recommendations

:43:21.:43:24.

afterwards which, in my view, is the right approach. I raise the terms of

:43:25.:43:29.

reference for the public inquiry two weeks ago, recorded in Hansard, when

:43:30.:43:33.

I said it would be very helpful if the minister gave the house any

:43:34.:43:39.

details of white -- of what might be known about the inquiry. Issues

:43:40.:43:43.

include the source of the fire, the rapidity of the spread, the

:43:44.:43:46.

catastrophic failure of the protection features the building

:43:47.:43:49.

should have contained, the refurbishment of the building and

:43:50.:43:55.

the materials used, as well as the quality of work and the finish, the

:43:56.:43:58.

monitoring of building control, the inspection of the completed job, the

:43:59.:44:03.

designated responsible person and the role of the Fire Services. I

:44:04.:44:06.

raise the question of the outstanding review of the building

:44:07.:44:12.

regulations guidance on fire is contained in approve documents be

:44:13.:44:14.

and the recommendation of an urgent review by the Lakanal House coroner

:44:15.:44:20.

in 2013. There is no statutory timetable laid down for a periodic

:44:21.:44:24.

review of the guidance, as I said at the time and I mentioned in my

:44:25.:44:28.

earlier question to the first secretary when he opened the debate.

:44:29.:44:34.

In my debate I asked about building regulations, in response, in column

:44:35.:44:39.

436 the minister said Astor Lakanal House, I quote, the Government took

:44:40.:44:42.

action on a number of areas following but fire, in particular DC

:44:43.:44:49.

argy provided funding to enable the local Government Association, in

:44:50.:44:51.

partnership with the housing sector and relevant authorities, to publish

:44:52.:44:56.

new fire safety guidance for purpose-built flats and blocks in

:44:57.:44:59.

2011. But guidance is still current. That raises a key question, if the

:45:00.:45:06.

guidance is current and failed at Grenfell, one of two things must be

:45:07.:45:10.

true. Either the guidance is not up to the job needs reviewing, or

:45:11.:45:14.

alternatively the guidance is adequate but was ignored. I would

:45:15.:45:18.

suggest this is the fundamental question that should be addressed by

:45:19.:45:23.

the Independent expert advisory panel is announced by the Secretary

:45:24.:45:26.

of State which contains a number of distinguished members. And I decided

:45:27.:45:32.

cancer conned additional members for specific tasks. May I ask the

:45:33.:45:36.

minister when he responds whether the panel has identified the

:45:37.:45:41.

guidance and approve documents a of the fire regulations as a priority

:45:42.:45:44.

piece of work that needs addressing, as its reviewers over Drew, as has

:45:45.:45:49.

been mentioned a number of times today, last revised in 2006? Is the

:45:50.:45:55.

Government awaits the outcome of the public inquiry and then starts the

:45:56.:45:59.

review, give it will then take time for any working party to do its job

:46:00.:46:03.

properly, the gap between the last revision and an updated approve

:46:04.:46:07.

documents be will be at least 14 years, probably a lot longer.

:46:08.:46:11.

Historically the reviews in the UK are usually about ten years apart.

:46:12.:46:15.

In some countries it is less. Does the Minister agree this is too

:46:16.:46:19.

lobbed a gap and does he agreed there should be a statutory

:46:20.:46:24.

responsibility to review the guidelines and a set period of time

:46:25.:46:28.

rather than just having it as a periodic review? Can I ask again

:46:29.:46:31.

whether the expert panel has commented on this, if they have not

:46:32.:46:36.

whether he will ask the question? On July the 3rd in response to the

:46:37.:46:40.

above questions, the Secretary of State said to me the honourable

:46:41.:46:43.

gentlemen makes an important point about building regulations and the

:46:44.:46:48.

guidance on them. There will need to be changes and we need to look

:46:49.:46:52.

carefully at the causes that affects so many buildings to fail the

:46:53.:46:56.

guidance test. The expert panel has a wide remit, broadly to recommend

:46:57.:47:00.

to Government immediately any action it thinks we should take that will

:47:01.:47:05.

improve public safety, which validates my question is whether the

:47:06.:47:08.

expert panel has recommended an immediate and urgent review, if the

:47:09.:47:12.

answer is no, whether the Minister will ask them why they have arrived

:47:13.:47:14.

at this conclusion. It is not just me raising these

:47:15.:47:31.

questions. The Association of business architecture ought to make

:47:32.:47:36.

colleague yesterday. They said the government should carry out the

:47:37.:47:39.

following, bring forward the review of the document proposed by the

:47:40.:47:45.

Minister for communities and local government. This follows the inquest

:47:46.:47:56.

from the 2009 fire at Lakanal House. We think document be must be a clear

:47:57.:48:05.

reappraisal and must be carried out without uncertainty. They also

:48:06.:48:15.

raised sprinkler systems, which I also brought up in the debate, as

:48:16.:48:25.

did other colleagues. The fire safety officer rates with regard to

:48:26.:48:31.

document be. We also recommend suggesting increased protection for

:48:32.:48:38.

sprinklers, in line with the current thinking on fire safety. This is one

:48:39.:48:44.

part of the greater whole. It is not a complete decision. In support of

:48:45.:48:54.

this, the Association of British insurers rate more directly. A

:48:55.:48:58.

comprehensive review is urgently needed. The regulations in England

:48:59.:49:05.

need to build type in and around buildings. We have been calling for

:49:06.:49:09.

a comprehensive review of the document since 2009. My final source

:49:10.:49:17.

is the London Fire Brigade itself. In briefing for this, on behalf of

:49:18.:49:27.

the planning authority, the document has not been reviewed for some time,

:49:28.:49:31.

which means it has not been kept up with British standards or a low-key

:49:32.:49:37.

debate for sprinklers or other systems. We have been calling for

:49:38.:49:45.

this to be reviewed and be regard this as a matter of urgency. So, the

:49:46.:49:55.

Lakanal House coroner, the British Association of insurers, the Fire

:49:56.:50:02.

Service. The fire protection Association. All of them agree on

:50:03.:50:06.

the urgency of a review of document be. It is not the total solution,

:50:07.:50:12.

but it needs to be done and it needs to be done though. If the work does

:50:13.:50:17.

not start until after the enquiry, it could be as long as five years

:50:18.:50:30.

before approval of Document B is approved. They say, we have set up

:50:31.:50:42.

an expert panel set up to improve fire safety. I would be grateful of

:50:43.:50:48.

the Minister could address the particular points I have raised,

:50:49.:50:57.

with regard to Document B. As the advisory panel agreed on an instant

:50:58.:51:03.

review of it? Do they think it would be appropriate to have an immediate

:51:04.:51:10.

review of Document B? It has been said today that the majority of

:51:11.:51:18.

people who die in fires in the pool, the old, the young and the sick. The

:51:19.:51:30.

Grenfell Tower demonstrated that. We need regulations to protect people

:51:31.:51:41.

in our buildings. Approved Document B As the cornerstone of what old

:51:42.:51:44.

building safety is constructed. If we do not have reviewed, we are not

:51:45.:51:56.

doing our duty here. I do not pretend to have his expertise. But I

:51:57.:52:01.

thought the Minister will have less and. To ensure that the key element

:52:02.:52:15.

of safety. I am the member for the neighbouring constituency. I have

:52:16.:52:21.

many family ties in the constituent state in which Grenfell Tower is

:52:22.:52:24.

located. Just yesterday, I found out that people living in the area just

:52:25.:52:53.

to the sides of Grenfell Tower going to have to stay in Portakabins for

:52:54.:52:58.

the year. I have a number of questions. The first is, who is in

:52:59.:53:05.

charge? We have heard statements from a least five ministers from the

:53:06.:53:13.

beginning of this debate. While a value the Prime Minister and others

:53:14.:53:19.

contributing to this and the ordering of an early debate and the

:53:20.:53:23.

fool public enquiry, I am afraid that since that happened, there has

:53:24.:53:31.

been a degree of inaction. That does not give me any pleasure. I would

:53:32.:53:39.

ask the Minister, who is the Minister taking overall

:53:40.:53:43.

responsibility here? Is there a role for a List of designated to deal

:53:44.:53:50.

specifically with this tragedy? We often of a Minister dealing with

:53:51.:53:57.

national disasters. This is a disaster which has ramifications

:53:58.:54:03.

above that over time. On a national level, it is even more confusing in

:54:04.:54:10.

Kensington and Chelsea. What has happened in the borough has been

:54:11.:54:20.

appalling. First we had the chief executive for London bus to protect

:54:21.:54:25.

his political masters. We then heard a leader who should of gone as soon

:54:26.:54:32.

as it was clear the disaster effort was a disaster in itself. He even

:54:33.:54:43.

said" purported feel years". We even then had a new leader. -- feel

:54:44.:54:52.

years. I am afraid I do not think she is up to the job either. I have

:54:53.:54:57.

them on the radio this morning to say she had not been in the

:54:58.:55:03.

high-rise council blocks before. She has been a councillor for at least

:55:04.:55:12.

11 years. I cannot think of the hundreds of times I have visited all

:55:13.:55:19.

sorts of accommodation around the borough. How could you not, in all

:55:20.:55:27.

honesty, not have visited flats. She said she might have been canvassing

:55:28.:55:32.

the, but he had never been inside. I do not want to personalise this, but

:55:33.:55:38.

this is clearly somebody who isn't out of touch with the people she is

:55:39.:55:42.

trying to represent. If she cannot represent the people, then I think

:55:43.:55:49.

that is why he read the solution was available. It is what many people

:55:50.:55:56.

want to see. People want to see commissioners going in. They have

:55:57.:56:01.

done it before. There is a suspicion here that there is a blockage

:56:02.:56:08.

preventing this happening. That is an obvious course of action. Instead

:56:09.:56:16.

we have got this hybrid solution whereby a task force which was

:56:17.:56:25.

clarified by the Secretary of State earlier on, a task force advisory

:56:26.:56:29.

group which does not report to the people in charge but is still the

:56:30.:56:33.

same old bosses in Kensington and Chelsea, how is that any way a

:56:34.:56:41.

recipe for clarity and judgment within Kensington and Chelsea? Who

:56:42.:56:48.

are these people in the task force? We do not know who they are? We do

:56:49.:56:52.

not know the terms of reference. We do not know if they have visited the

:56:53.:57:01.

borough over a period of time. It all smacks, the steely and

:57:02.:57:05.

prevarication, a hallmark of dealing with the aftermath of this. I ask

:57:06.:57:12.

the Minister, as far as they are able to clarify today, who is the

:57:13.:57:16.

Minister who will take responsibility? I am sure we would

:57:17.:57:23.

give them that support. It took about a week before he realised what

:57:24.:57:32.

he disaster the Kensington management team were. Things did

:57:33.:57:39.

start to improve. But the only started to improve. We are still not

:57:40.:57:47.

entirely clear. I remember my own chief executive in Hammersmith was

:57:48.:57:51.

on the phone at six o'clock in the morning and I know that was true of

:57:52.:57:57.

many other London boroughs. Accommodation was offered, offers

:57:58.:58:02.

officers were offered, assistance was offered. For the simply not

:58:03.:58:08.

returned. There was no coordination of the services. What appeared to be

:58:09.:58:19.

a better situation a week later was not quite all it seemed. I will give

:58:20.:58:23.

you an example of that. When I went down to speak to a group of

:58:24.:58:33.

survivors who are no any hotel in film, the tool be a very differing

:58:34.:58:37.

stories. Every single family has a different story. Some had been made

:58:38.:58:47.

housing offers, others have not. Somewhat tall because they were not

:58:48.:58:50.

tenants, they would not have the housing officer. Some were given key

:58:51.:59:01.

workers, somewhat belatedly. Some only had key workers in the sense

:59:02.:59:07.

that someone would occasionally ring them from head the numbers that they

:59:08.:59:10.

could not get back in touch with. And the question -- the worker would

:59:11.:59:16.

often not answer the questions they wanted. Some had been given money,

:59:17.:59:25.

some had not. One family member may be going down one day and been

:59:26.:59:29.

giving money and another family member going down the next day and

:59:30.:59:33.

been refused. This to people who were already living free all the

:59:34.:59:42.

positions had been destroyed and suffering at best,, from the fire.

:59:43.:59:50.

At worst, losing friends and relations in the fire. They were

:59:51.:59:56.

then stuck in hotels for a month. The hotel I visited, I have to

:59:57.:00:06.

congratulate the job the hotel manager and staff had done in

:00:07.:00:10.

accommodating and welcoming them. But you cannot have these people in

:00:11.:00:18.

a small budget hotel. They had no change of clothes, no money. Hall

:00:19.:00:28.

firmly one room. In several cases, local residents in Hammersmith gave

:00:29.:00:35.

them food, local businesses give them food and cleaning materials.

:00:36.:00:43.

But this was all on an ad hoc basis. How can that be happening in our

:00:44.:00:51.

capital city in the 21st-century? If things are getting better, they are

:00:52.:00:52.

only getting better slowly. People were asked to go to places

:00:53.:01:03.

that were substantial travelling distance from school places of work,

:01:04.:01:09.

offers of accommodation as we heard earlier for disabled people would

:01:10.:01:13.

did not have disabled access in one case an elderly lady I spoke to

:01:14.:01:17.

could not get into the toilet at the place she was offered. Is that

:01:18.:01:21.

reasonable to refuse an offer of accommodation like that? I think it

:01:22.:01:26.

is. It goes further. I would ask them and to put himself in the

:01:27.:01:31.

position, imagine his house burned down, even without the trauma

:01:32.:01:35.

associated with Grunfeld Tower, what you would expect is the insurance

:01:36.:01:40.

company would put him up in a like-for-like accommodation in a

:01:41.:01:43.

similar area, would ensure he can continue his life as best he could

:01:44.:01:48.

and would restore that property and move him back in or give him an

:01:49.:01:52.

equivalent alternative property. I don't see why the residents of

:01:53.:01:58.

Grunfeld Tower should get any less, even if the assistance has to come

:01:59.:02:02.

from the state rather than the insurance company so let's not

:02:03.:02:06.

pretend they're doing people favours by offering them permanent

:02:07.:02:11.

accommodation or like-for-like accommodation some of the

:02:12.:02:18.

accommodation around Grenfell we should be proud it was built in the

:02:19.:02:25.

1960s and 70s. Good space, light, airy, plenty of room, why should

:02:26.:02:29.

those people be given anything less than that as an alternative when

:02:30.:02:34.

they have suffered so much all ready? It brings me on to the wider

:02:35.:02:43.

issue of housing. There was an interesting piece on the today

:02:44.:02:46.

programme looking at the options for long-term rehousing for the people

:02:47.:02:51.

from Grenfell. And they went through half a dozen and they with these, it

:02:52.:02:56.

is quite revealing. Firstly, they could be given, put at the top of

:02:57.:03:02.

the waiting list in Kensington and the problem with that is there is

:03:03.:03:06.

only about eight units coming up per week and most of those are small

:03:07.:03:11.

flats, one-bedroom flats, nobody mentioned the fact that if in doing

:03:12.:03:15.

so you would be displacing everybody else on the housing waiting list for

:03:16.:03:19.

years and years but because of the small number that was ruled out,

:03:20.:03:22.

what about the private rented sector, the residential landlords

:03:23.:03:29.

Association said actually private rented accommodation is completely

:03:30.:03:32.

different form of tenure, no security and often there are

:03:33.:03:37.

mortgage lenders attached conditions which means tenants are benefits

:03:38.:03:41.

tenants who want longer tendencies are not eligible to take that

:03:42.:03:47.

accommodation. What about redeveloping, the state regeneration

:03:48.:03:51.

which is often used by councils such as Kensington to reduce the quantity

:03:52.:03:56.

of social housing, again it was said most estates in London are all ready

:03:57.:04:01.

at high density and only limited additional units you can put in now.

:04:02.:04:06.

One novel suggestion was to use the big development sites in my

:04:07.:04:10.

constituency at White city to temporarily house people, this is

:04:11.:04:15.

interesting, I would welcome new social housing being built on the

:04:16.:04:20.

big development sites in my constituency and I'm sure we would

:04:21.:04:26.

welcome as part of that people from Grenfell as well but this wasn't

:04:27.:04:31.

being offered, what was suggested as temporary housing accommodation on a

:04:32.:04:34.

building site for three to five years until they could be moved on

:04:35.:04:38.

and luxury housing could be built in its place as originally planned. The

:04:39.:04:45.

68 units in Kensington Row have been mentioned a number of times and

:04:46.:04:51.

initially there was an inflammatory article in the Guardian or the other

:04:52.:04:54.

residents of this large luxury development said they did not want

:04:55.:05:02.

people like the Grunfeld tenants living cheek by jowl with them.

:05:03.:05:07.

Whatever misinformation that led to that story, the Kensington very

:05:08.:05:11.

flats on offer are not luxury flats, not the ?1 million one-bedroom flats

:05:12.:05:16.

which is characterises that development. They are existing

:05:17.:05:20.

affordable housing units which would have been used for people who cannot

:05:21.:05:25.

afford market rates certainly draws attention to the fact that in most

:05:26.:05:32.

cases Grenfell tenants are going to be offered existing social housing

:05:33.:05:38.

so it is social housing tenants generally, people existing council

:05:39.:05:45.

house -- housing on the waiting list which is very long and West London

:05:46.:05:50.

who will be subsidising the relief effort for Grenfell. I do not think

:05:51.:05:56.

that is right. The six option, why not buy some units of accommodation,

:05:57.:06:03.

that was ruled out because units were accommodation, two-bedroom flat

:06:04.:06:08.

in Kensington costs about ?600,000. Well, Kensington and Chelsea has

:06:09.:06:18.

?300 million in its balances it has been stashing away and if anyone

:06:19.:06:21.

thinks it is controversial to change units between the social housing

:06:22.:06:27.

market, Hammersmith Council whether conservatives were running it was

:06:28.:06:30.

selling off its social housing on the open market as it became empty

:06:31.:06:35.

for nearly half million per unit so what is good for the goose if you

:06:36.:06:42.

can sell it off you can buy it. So why not give a clear instruction to

:06:43.:06:46.

Kensington Council and I suggest he goes and listens to be interview the

:06:47.:06:52.

leader gave a superb piece of interviewing skill which at the

:06:53.:06:56.

fourth or fifth time of asking after trying to dodge the question on

:06:57.:07:01.

every occasion, eventually the leader Kensington and Chelsea

:07:02.:07:05.

Council said yes, they would buy some units but I hope he listens to

:07:06.:07:10.

that and hold sadder that promise and we start getting permanent

:07:11.:07:13.

decent adequate housing for the people who have suffered at Grenfell

:07:14.:07:20.

and sooner rather than later. And what this shines a light on as well

:07:21.:07:25.

is the wider crisis in social housing in this country. If we can't

:07:26.:07:30.

find social housing units for the two to 300 families who have been

:07:31.:07:36.

displaced from Grenfell, how are we going to come near to resolving the

:07:37.:07:40.

housing crisis particularly in high-value areas because the other

:07:41.:07:49.

story that has been doing the rounds in inner London is Battersea Power

:07:50.:07:59.

Station. Were in development 4200 properties, the developer has

:08:00.:08:01.

successfully persuaded Wandsworth Council to reduce the affordable

:08:02.:08:10.

homes from 686 to 386, by 40% sober now represent 9% of the development,

:08:11.:08:16.

that is the truth of Conservative policies on affordable housing in

:08:17.:08:19.

London and this is an opportunity for the minister to say in the case

:08:20.:08:26.

of Grenfell and the wider case that is no longer going to be the case.

:08:27.:08:37.

As a final issue, I will not dwell on this but the issue of safety in

:08:38.:08:43.

the widest sense has to be resolved and it cannot be resolved over the

:08:44.:08:48.

timescale of the public enquiry. Early action has to be taken. The

:08:49.:08:57.

chair and secretary of the all-party Parliamentary group for fire safety

:08:58.:09:02.

has spoken ready in the debate and mentions the expert advice who has

:09:03.:09:11.

made a number of clear points which she wishes us to put to the

:09:12.:09:17.

minister, the first is in relation to approved document B which has

:09:18.:09:20.

been dealt extensively and the fact that needs to be revised and will

:09:21.:09:25.

need clarity in relation to the whole issue of construction and

:09:26.:09:30.

external cladding, we're not talking other type of cladding, we're

:09:31.:09:36.

talking about all forms of cladding, we are talking about insulation, and

:09:37.:09:40.

how that is fitted and in particular we are talking about what is the

:09:41.:09:46.

effect of fire, not as done on a desktop computer or on a small piece

:09:47.:09:51.

of cladding but what happens when a real building burns when it has

:09:52.:09:56.

cladding of that kind of awesome external modification of that kind?

:09:57.:10:02.

And the London building act is to say, which were a repeal in 1986,

:10:03.:10:08.

and replaced with a weaker form of legislation, that you needed to have

:10:09.:10:15.

an hour retardation of fire, why can we not go back to those standards,

:10:16.:10:19.

why can we not have that clarity because there is a huge amount of

:10:20.:10:23.

testing that needs to be done, it is not just the minor areas of testing

:10:24.:10:28.

of a minority of a particular type of cladding. That is only one issue.

:10:29.:10:36.

The issue of sprinklers and I wish the minister and his colleagues

:10:37.:10:44.

would stop saying that they did what the Lakanal House coroner said, he

:10:45.:10:47.

put forward a recommendation that this matter should be looked at

:10:48.:10:53.

and/or the government did was it on that local did not have... I will

:10:54.:11:01.

give way. Does he agree with me that this government should stick to

:11:02.:11:04.

introduce the legislation we all ready have in Labour run Wales on

:11:05.:11:09.

sprinklers and the installation of sprinklers? I absolutely do and we

:11:10.:11:16.

can learn from the devolved administrations in relation to this.

:11:17.:11:20.

I think it is reasonable words for the minister to say, the coroner did

:11:21.:11:25.

not insist we did that, the coroner cannot insist, the coroner gave a

:11:26.:11:28.

clear indication and the government dodged the issue and I think that

:11:29.:11:34.

should be revisited. As should be the issue of who inspections -- as

:11:35.:11:39.

inspections because it is not just about cladding, it is about fire

:11:40.:11:44.

alarms and means of escape and maintenance and access for emergency

:11:45.:11:48.

vehicles and we may find out in the course of the public enquiry that

:11:49.:11:52.

all of these factors at Grenfell but what we need to do is not wait for

:11:53.:11:58.

that because my constituents who live in tower blocks cannot sleep

:11:59.:12:02.

easily in their beds at night until they know they are living as they

:12:03.:12:09.

thought they were in entirely safe buildings. And also that they knew

:12:10.:12:12.

what they were supposed to do in case of fire. The minister does have

:12:13.:12:19.

a long agenda to tackle but let me make one final point, one he is

:12:20.:12:29.

taking interesting, the cause of the fire was once again a white goods

:12:30.:12:37.

manufactured by one of the whirlpool companies which caused an illogical

:12:38.:12:41.

fire in a fridge freezer just as my constituency last year one of the

:12:42.:12:49.

known fire risk white goods, and intercept tumble dryer caught fire

:12:50.:12:53.

causing a substantial tower block fire. When will the government start

:12:54.:12:57.

tackling these issues of registration of white goods, of

:12:58.:13:02.

collecting data which are safe and unsafe, of recalling products when

:13:03.:13:07.

there are shown to be dangerous and releasing the risk assessments that

:13:08.:13:13.

currently can scandalously are not revealed on grounds of

:13:14.:13:17.

confidentiality for the companies who manufacture the goods. It is

:13:18.:13:21.

another whole area of investigation but one which is long overdue and

:13:22.:13:26.

all though much of the attention around Grenfell concentrates around

:13:27.:13:31.

the spread of fire that Fai would never have got outside had it not

:13:32.:13:36.

started in a fridge freezer which we still do not know because the

:13:37.:13:40.

government has not said whether the tests are complete, whether it was a

:13:41.:13:44.

design fault and whether it is the construction of a particular model

:13:45.:13:54.

that allowed the fire to take hold. I had the points I've made of

:13:55.:13:58.

relevant, I hope they are matters of the public enquiry to consider, I

:13:59.:14:03.

say a number cannot wait until that time and certainly the relief and a

:14:04.:14:08.

rehousing of the people who have been displaced by the Grenfell fire

:14:09.:14:16.

cannot wait any longer. I hope we do not come back here in September and

:14:17.:14:20.

October and find nothing has changed. I know my honourable friend

:14:21.:14:24.

the member for Kensington and I pay tribute to her because she was

:14:25.:14:30.

thrown in at the deep end here in no uncertain fashion and she has risen

:14:31.:14:34.

absolutely to that challenge. She is a strong and powerful advocate for

:14:35.:14:39.

her community, she cannot do it on her own, this is a job both locally

:14:40.:14:44.

and nationally for government to take hold of and we must not forget

:14:45.:14:50.

this terrible tragedy which has blighted our country and which we do

:14:51.:14:53.

not learn the lessons of it will recur again. Thank you, Mr Deputy

:14:54.:15:01.

Speaker. Can I say what a pleasure it is to be back on the green

:15:02.:15:07.

benches speaking on behalf of my constituents in Derby North after a

:15:08.:15:10.

two and forced sabbatical and before I speak about the debate we are

:15:11.:15:16.

considering today, I should say a few words about my predecessor who

:15:17.:15:23.

took my seat off me by 41 votes in 2015, Amanda Soloway, she was an

:15:24.:15:27.

unusual and unlikely Conservative party candidate coming from humble

:15:28.:15:33.

origins and had herself experienced homelessness in early part of her

:15:34.:15:39.

life. She made it her business to highlight the plight of homeless

:15:40.:15:44.

people and saw to draw attention to that really important issue that

:15:45.:15:48.

scars our country, the fifth richest nation on the planet.

:15:49.:15:55.

Another big issue she fought very hard on was mental wealth. --

:15:56.:16:06.

health. She wanted to make sure more resources were put forward to it.

:16:07.:16:12.

Really fair to the excellent maiden speeches made today and sought to

:16:13.:16:19.

find a collective known and came up with the feast of maiden speeches. I

:16:20.:16:29.

would she his few of these maiden speeches. Oliver made it excellent

:16:30.:16:38.

contributions today. I am sure they will go on to make a good

:16:39.:16:42.

contribution in this place for as long as they are here. The question

:16:43.:16:49.

of the catastrophic fire that occurred at Grenfell Tower. Its

:16:50.:16:55.

origins I think can be traced back, it must be said, to the neoliberal

:16:56.:17:04.

doctrine inflicted on our country back in 1979. It has disfigured our

:17:05.:17:12.

public services over the years. A big feature of this approach has

:17:13.:17:19.

been deregulation, privatisation and cuts. The deregulation has led to a

:17:20.:17:29.

situation where combustible materials have perfectly

:17:30.:17:32.

legitimately been specified unused on the Grenfell Tower and many other

:17:33.:17:39.

colour blocks around the country. How can that possibly be? When you

:17:40.:17:48.

take into account the fact that in addition to using combustible

:17:49.:17:53.

materials on a tower block, you add that into the mix a move towards

:17:54.:18:00.

compulsory competitive tendering, which was brought into the public

:18:01.:18:06.

realm nearly 40 years ago. That is where the cheapest place was what

:18:07.:18:13.

was looked at. That happened when any services were being external

:18:14.:18:21.

eyes. How could the maintenance of our public realm and our housing

:18:22.:18:25.

stock be privatised and put out to the private sector? At the work

:18:26.:18:37.

being done properly and had there been fire officers at every four is

:18:38.:18:40.

there should've been, the fire would have been contained. It would've

:18:41.:18:47.

been contained within the floor we the fire started. The combination of

:18:48.:18:57.

the compulsory competitive tendering, the business friendly

:18:58.:19:00.

inspection regime that was brought in, all these things have culminated

:19:01.:19:05.

in a situation where we have seen this appalling, catastrophic fire

:19:06.:19:12.

which are seen so many people lose their lives. What has happened when

:19:13.:19:16.

we look at the cuts which have been imposed, you see the number of fire

:19:17.:19:23.

safety inspectors that have been taken out of the system. Depending

:19:24.:19:27.

on which fire authority you're talking about, between 75 and 60% of

:19:28.:19:34.

fire safety inspectors have been removed. No, the Fire and rescue

:19:35.:19:41.

authorities are not able to actually undertake the safety checks the use

:19:42.:19:45.

to be able to do as a matter of course. This cut corners approach we

:19:46.:19:53.

have seen during the last few decades has ultimately led to this

:19:54.:19:59.

appalling fire. We had an exchange earlier on in the debate, Mr Deputy

:20:00.:20:05.

Speaker, about the approach as far as students are concerned. This

:20:06.:20:10.

situation is this that the legislation requires for new tower

:20:11.:20:19.

blocks over 30 metres, residential tower blocks, to have sprinklers

:20:20.:20:23.

installed in them. But nurses and student accommodation is deemed to

:20:24.:20:29.

be other accommodation and, therefore, there is no requirement

:20:30.:20:33.

for sprinklers to be installed. It seems as if nurses and students are

:20:34.:20:39.

expendable. That cannot be right. When we are talking about cups, I

:20:40.:20:44.

mentioned the fire safety inspectors have taken note of the system. It is

:20:45.:20:51.

also important to remember that fire station after fire station across

:20:52.:20:55.

the capital the country has been closed. Many firemen have lost the

:20:56.:21:07.

jobs. That creates its own problems. I was speaking to the fire Brigade

:21:08.:21:15.

union executive representative, they were talking about by reducing the

:21:16.:21:24.

number of firefighters available for emergencies, when we have a

:21:25.:21:30.

catastrophe as we saw, firefighters are repeatedly going into the

:21:31.:21:36.

building to rescue people. The problem with that is that when

:21:37.:21:41.

people are using, firefighters are using breathing apparatus, it

:21:42.:21:49.

thickens the blood. It leaves the firefighters at greater risk of

:21:50.:21:55.

coronary attack. We know from eyewitnesses accounts that

:21:56.:22:00.

firefighters were entering Grenfell Tower up to three teams to rescue

:22:01.:22:04.

people. They should not have been in that situation. The Prime Minister

:22:05.:22:08.

said, the London Fire Brigade have resources that the need. She implied

:22:09.:22:16.

that they really were unable to respond to the fire was proof of

:22:17.:22:20.

that. The truth is, the London Fire Brigade do not have the resources

:22:21.:22:24.

they need. If they do tell, firefighters would not have been

:22:25.:22:28.

having to go into the building time after time to rescue people. It been

:22:29.:22:34.

enough firefighters to ensure that firefighters would only have had to

:22:35.:22:36.

enter the building on one occasion. If we are going to learn any lessons

:22:37.:22:42.

and we always hear about the importance of learning lessons, but

:22:43.:22:50.

seriously, if we're going to any lessons from this dreadful fire that

:22:51.:22:56.

should never have happened, then surely it must be it is that we need

:22:57.:23:04.

a different approach to the neoliberal agenda and looking at the

:23:05.:23:12.

way services are delivered in our country. We need to look at the

:23:13.:23:16.

deregulation agenda and we have been subjected to. We have to abandon the

:23:17.:23:22.

privatisation of our public services. Surely we have heard from

:23:23.:23:33.

members on this, the importance of installing sprinklers. Add Grenfell

:23:34.:23:43.

Tower being fitted with sprinklers, we may have lost a building, but we

:23:44.:23:46.

hope would not have lost human lives. I do not think that is the

:23:47.:23:56.

building in the world where it has been fitted with sprinklers and

:23:57.:24:02.

people have died. If so, very few. We need to learn the lesson. We also

:24:03.:24:10.

have to listen very carefully to the survivors, the community, the

:24:11.:24:14.

residents who have been so badly affected by this episode. I was

:24:15.:24:21.

speaking to someone from the Justice group just yesterday and she said

:24:22.:24:29.

that there are a number of demands. When the minister gets up, I hope he

:24:30.:24:36.

will concur and accept the demands. I hope he will ensure they are

:24:37.:24:41.

delivered. The two demands they told me about, they wanted to ensure that

:24:42.:24:47.

the survivors want to ensure that everyone is housed within the

:24:48.:24:51.

borough within good quality accommodation. The is empty

:24:52.:24:58.

accommodation available in the Bible which could be acquired by the local

:24:59.:25:07.

authority. It has the resources within its reserves to be able to

:25:08.:25:13.

acquire these properties. These should be making those resources

:25:14.:25:19.

available. Secondly, the second thing she said, that the survivors

:25:20.:25:25.

want is help. Help in the present situation they are in. She was

:25:26.:25:30.

speaking to one survivor who had been put into the hotel and they

:25:31.:25:37.

were just left to fend for themselves. They did not know where

:25:38.:25:40.

to go to be able to get food and change of clothes, someone needs to

:25:41.:25:47.

be done. There needs to be more immediate help for the survivors. In

:25:48.:25:53.

the shorter term, I hope the minister will make this clear, make

:25:54.:26:00.

accommodation available. I want to conclude, Mr Deputy Speaker, I

:26:01.:26:08.

attended a meeting of the local government Association earlier this

:26:09.:26:15.

week. They showed me a paper which was pretty the Fire Services

:26:16.:26:19.

management committee and that made a number of recommendations. I would

:26:20.:26:22.

be interested in the minister's response to them when he gets to his

:26:23.:26:27.

feet. They should agree to have sprinkler systems fitted in all

:26:28.:26:34.

high-rise flats in the country. It also says any cladding fitted should

:26:35.:26:41.

be made of high-quality fire resistant material approved by the

:26:42.:26:46.

Fire Service to a national standard. They also ask that the Fire Service

:26:47.:26:50.

should have overall responsibility for fire safety for high-rise flats,

:26:51.:26:58.

including flats, corridors, public seat spaces, fire alarms and that

:26:59.:27:04.

the Fire Service should provide fire safety assurance for high-rise

:27:05.:27:11.

flats. All high-rise blocks should be inspected by the Fire Service

:27:12.:27:16.

every two years. And they should be inspected immediately after a major

:27:17.:27:20.

refurbishment. They should also be built to include all of the above

:27:21.:27:27.

and be built with two steering Wales in the building. They go on to ask

:27:28.:27:34.

that there is an urgent review of the fire regulation order and call

:27:35.:27:42.

on the fire step is to reenable building control applications to be

:27:43.:27:51.

reviewed by risk assessed basis. They see the government will need to

:27:52.:27:55.

recognise that extra government financial resources will be needed

:27:56.:28:00.

to be made available to Fire And Rescue Services, to enable them to

:28:01.:28:04.

be able to provide the necessary workload that this will require.

:28:05.:28:11.

That seems to me a common-sense List. It has to be remembered that

:28:12.:28:17.

this was a cross-party group. People are also seen this from the

:28:18.:28:21.

Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and

:28:22.:28:25.

independence. I hope the Minister will take into account what his

:28:26.:28:30.

cross-party group has said, take into account the very sensible

:28:31.:28:35.

suggestions made on both sides of the house today and most importantly

:28:36.:28:40.

listen to the survivors and listen to the community and respond

:28:41.:28:43.

appropriately. This is a stain on the very character of the country

:28:44.:28:50.

and we need to make sure really the license and mean it when we see this

:28:51.:28:56.

will never, ever happen again. It is a great pleasure to have listen to

:28:57.:29:02.

this debate and listen to the excellent maiden speeches of

:29:03.:29:11.

colleagues from Leeds, Croydon, Barnsley, Lewisham and I hope I have

:29:12.:29:18.

got them all. It is also been an excellent debate with many important

:29:19.:29:22.

points and questions for ministers which have been asked. These are

:29:23.:29:28.

things the government must address. I am going -- not going to take

:29:29.:29:36.

members time repeating this. The fire was an appalling tragedy and it

:29:37.:29:40.

was rightly that was said to be a preventable tragedy. It was

:29:41.:29:48.

exacerbated by what seemed to be, as somebody who has a bit of

:29:49.:29:53.

experience, as a frankly dysfunctional response from

:29:54.:29:57.

Kensington and Chelsea Council in the hours, days and weeks following

:29:58.:30:04.

the terrible fire. This year all concerns from members for the

:30:05.:30:10.

families and relatives who lost their lives. I share the concerns of

:30:11.:30:17.

the emergency and front-line service workers, who had to deal with that

:30:18.:30:24.

trauma. And I hope there will be adequate long-term post-dramatic

:30:25.:30:29.

support for all of them. Such is the government instigated initiated

:30:30.:30:43.

after the 7/7 bombings. I know someone who personally have received

:30:44.:30:44.

a lot of great support after lap. The fact London Fire Brigade to

:30:45.:30:55.

produce cancers from over ten to under five in the last seven years

:30:56.:30:59.

is something that needs to immediately be addressed in terms of

:31:00.:31:02.

offering support and adequate provision for counselling for our

:31:03.:31:08.

service personnel and which agree with me? That is an excellent point,

:31:09.:31:17.

he has made. Clearly the fire service workers, fire officers and

:31:18.:31:21.

others are at the front line of experiencing trauma as we have heard

:31:22.:31:29.

many reports of the lack all fire. For a service like that, essential

:31:30.:31:33.

service like that that employs people experiencing that trauma to

:31:34.:31:40.

cut by half specialist counselling services is yet another example that

:31:41.:31:47.

we have heard again and again of the impact of public service cuts, the

:31:48.:31:51.

impact of austerity on public services that are there for us all.

:31:52.:32:03.

And that trauma, that post trauma counselling whether it is provided

:32:04.:32:08.

by an employer for front line workers or a member of the public

:32:09.:32:11.

who is nearby all-weather at charity worker helping out in a rescue

:32:12.:32:15.

station was somebody just passing somebody who lives in a similar

:32:16.:32:20.

block, everybody should have a right to that trauma counselling and

:32:21.:32:24.

support because as my friend has told me it makes a real difference

:32:25.:32:27.

in the long-term ability of you to be able to function for the long

:32:28.:32:33.

term of your life. Like many members here, constituents of mine live in

:32:34.:32:40.

older tower blocks, council owned tower block, Brentford towers and in

:32:41.:32:44.

Ivybridge estate in Brentford and eyes were, many have contacted me

:32:45.:32:48.

because they are frightened, they cannot sleep at night, their

:32:49.:32:53.

children cannot sleep, they really do not want to carry on living

:32:54.:32:58.

there. They need reassurance, some of them the trauma is so bad they

:32:59.:33:08.

are asking to be rehoused. This is a major issue, I did have the benefit

:33:09.:33:11.

of being briefed by London borough of Hounslow officers and members in

:33:12.:33:19.

the week immediately after the Grenfell fire, I was reassured in my

:33:20.:33:24.

constituency none have cladding that fails the government tests and I was

:33:25.:33:31.

also pleased to hear that in the day after the Grenfell fire, the

:33:32.:33:38.

councils programmed to be clad in the six towers of Brentford towers,

:33:39.:33:46.

the cladding programme on them has been put on hold until they review

:33:47.:33:54.

the specifics of that programme. The cladding programme is needed for

:33:55.:33:59.

reasons of safety of the building and external cladding and for

:34:00.:34:04.

thermal insulation but it is absolutely right given what has

:34:05.:34:09.

happened that the specifics of that cladding programme are reviewed.

:34:10.:34:14.

London borough of Hounslow, the leader and councillors are meeting

:34:15.:34:18.

all residents of tower blocks to hear their concerns, to listen and

:34:19.:34:24.

to respond. The right thing to do. London borough of Hounslow is also

:34:25.:34:28.

responding to requests and offering help to Kensington and Chelsea, a

:34:29.:34:38.

range of services. The council is preparing estate fire safety and

:34:39.:34:45.

improvement plans in order to ensure prevention and tackling fire safety

:34:46.:34:49.

inside and outside all tower blocks is addressed. And is also reviewing

:34:50.:34:55.

all of the existing fire risk assessments in all blocks. As

:34:56.:35:02.

somebody who has been an experienced counsellor, the lead member for

:35:03.:35:06.

housing and also I have had the lead responsibility for contingency

:35:07.:35:11.

planning, I have seen first-hand how proper fire safety mechanisms and

:35:12.:35:14.

management by residents and landlord alike can work. Fraser house, there

:35:15.:35:24.

was a fire were a resident died but the fire did not spread through the

:35:25.:35:28.

block. The appropriate fire doors were shut, the appropriate venting

:35:29.:35:35.

was open so the fire was drawn away from other flats and straight out of

:35:36.:35:41.

the vents on the floor. That is why I understand first-hand how you

:35:42.:35:48.

buildings are designed fire safety and how you must be very careful

:35:49.:35:55.

when revising the structure and cladding and anything else in

:35:56.:36:00.

buildings and also why the management and working with

:36:01.:36:02.

residents is so important, the reason those fire doors were shut

:36:03.:36:07.

was because residents and the council worked together after the

:36:08.:36:12.

lack Hall report was carried out to learn the lessons from luck in all

:36:13.:36:18.

and to make sure fire doors remained closed and someone who is regularly

:36:19.:36:21.

in out of the tower blocks of Brentford towers and talking to

:36:22.:36:25.

residents and canvassing elections, I have seen how one hot summers it

:36:26.:36:31.

is tempting to pop open the fire doors but after laughing all that

:36:32.:36:38.

stopped happening and fire doors were closed. Good management, good

:36:39.:36:43.

communication works. As somebody has been a lead member of contingency

:36:44.:36:47.

planning, luckily thankfully I did not have to deal with a contingency

:36:48.:36:55.

plan but I was briefed to know what an emergency look like, felt like a

:36:56.:36:58.

what my role would be and what the role of senior officers would be and

:36:59.:37:04.

how the relationship and the communications links go with other

:37:05.:37:08.

authorities up and down the line, a completely different way of managing

:37:09.:37:14.

in a crisis than you do day-to-day. So as somebody who woke up that

:37:15.:37:16.

morning and started following the Twitter feed and listen to the news

:37:17.:37:23.

and so on, whatever shocked at was the response, the poverty of

:37:24.:37:29.

response from Kensington and Chelsea that smacks to me of inadequate

:37:30.:37:37.

preparation for an emergency. I accept that Lakanal sorry, Grenfell

:37:38.:37:46.

fire was out of any order, as are the members have said, this is the

:37:47.:37:49.

biggest fire we have had since wartime but nevertheless one of the

:37:50.:37:55.

symptoms I would look at as an outsider, I would look for somebody,

:37:56.:38:00.

a person regularly in front of the camera is listening, speaking. That

:38:01.:38:05.

person meeting residents affected on the front line workers and charity

:38:06.:38:09.

workers. I would expect the charities and so on to be responded

:38:10.:38:13.

to requests from how from the local authority, not being the sole

:38:14.:38:16.

providers of support in the hours and days after the event. And what

:38:17.:38:24.

did we see? Community centres, mosques and churches on their own

:38:25.:38:28.

having to receive massive amounts of goodwill, sometimes of things they

:38:29.:38:32.

did not need at that time like an oversupply of blankets but they were

:38:33.:38:36.

working on their own, they did not know what to say to those offers of

:38:37.:38:44.

help. And what also concerned me was that I heard other local authorities

:38:45.:38:48.

particularly those close to Kensington and Chelsea offered that

:38:49.:38:54.

weeks allocation of social rented housing for Kensington and Chelsea

:38:55.:38:57.

to use as temporary or permanent homes for those affected. There was

:38:58.:39:04.

no adequate response. The local authorities offered specialised

:39:05.:39:06.

experienced trauma counsellors to Kensington and Chelsea, there was no

:39:07.:39:15.

response. At the time when people are willing and able to go the extra

:39:16.:39:19.

mile to share with colleagues in this extreme crisis, there was

:39:20.:39:26.

nowhere for them to turn to. And I do hope the enquiry looks at the

:39:27.:39:32.

response of the local authority and Taleb respond should have been and

:39:33.:39:36.

we have all ready heard how it can work as happens in the Manchester

:39:37.:39:44.

concert, after the terrorism attack in the Manchester concert hall and

:39:45.:39:46.

members in Manchester have said what they felt to be a good response by

:39:47.:39:56.

that local authority. So, finally, Grenfell residents Grenfell Tower

:39:57.:40:02.

and Grenfell walk residents and their families deserve justice. All

:40:03.:40:10.

residents of tower blocks deserve reassurance so they can live and

:40:11.:40:15.

sleep in peace. And poor communities and those in housing need it a

:40:16.:40:20.

government that no longer ignores them, but no longer cuts vital

:40:21.:40:28.

services, that no longer ignores the conclusions of public enquiries, and

:40:29.:40:33.

that invests in adequate good-quality truly affordable

:40:34.:40:44.

housing. Thank you and we welcome this debate today and I would like

:40:45.:40:49.

to begin by thanking colleagues who have contributed to it and in

:40:50.:40:51.

particular from the Labour benches my honourable friend is the members

:40:52.:40:58.

for Sheffield South East, Eltham, Kensington bespeaks his emotion

:40:59.:41:01.

knowledge and first-hand experience of the dreadful tragedy and its

:41:02.:41:07.

aftermath, Norwich South, Westminster North, Ogmore, Stratford

:41:08.:41:11.

and Urmston, Dulwich and West Norwood crop plant Limehouse,

:41:12.:41:14.

Hammersmith, Derby North and Brentford and Isleworth Crown Court

:41:15.:41:18.

and some brilliant and powerful maiden speeches as well my

:41:19.:41:26.

honourable friend the members for Lewisham West and Penge, Barnsley

:41:27.:41:31.

East, Croydon Central, Leeds North West and Lee all showed an absolute

:41:32.:41:38.

passion and dedication and they'll be doughty champions in their

:41:39.:41:41.

constituents and their constituencies in this place and I

:41:42.:41:45.

welcome each and every one of them. And also in other parts of the house

:41:46.:41:53.

we have heard from the honourable members for North East

:41:54.:41:56.

Hertfordshire, Southend West, Southampton itching, Cheltenham,

:41:57.:42:04.

Brentford, Bath and Redditch. Mr Deputy Speaker, there can be little

:42:05.:42:10.

dispute that the shock that we all felt following this tragedy has not

:42:11.:42:14.

subsided in the weeks that have followed. Whilst there is a clear

:42:15.:42:19.

need for immediate answers, we welcome the decision yesterday by

:42:20.:42:22.

the Grenfell enquiry to extend the consultation period by tee-macro

:42:23.:42:27.

weeks to provide those affected with more time to respond. It is

:42:28.:42:31.

understandable that the immediate focus of the response to this

:42:32.:42:35.

tragedy has been on meeting the needs of the bereaved and the

:42:36.:42:41.

survivors but I also urge the government for action on the

:42:42.:42:46.

neighbours and the community members around Grenfell Tower? We have been

:42:47.:42:52.

speaking to some of those organised, organising volunteers have expressed

:42:53.:42:55.

concern at the lack of support accessed by the nearby residents.

:42:56.:43:00.

These people saw the disaster developpe at close hand but somehow

:43:01.:43:04.

not accessed support either because they have not been thoroughly

:43:05.:43:07.

approached, or because of a reluctance to do so when local

:43:08.:43:13.

services are so overwhelmed. I want to pay tribute to the fire come at

:43:14.:43:18.

the police, and the community as we have heard to pull together to

:43:19.:43:24.

assist when frankly statutory authorities failed. And that is why

:43:25.:43:28.

I also ask that the government makes sure support is available to those

:43:29.:43:33.

volunteering after this disaster, volunteers are now doing a job that

:43:34.:43:39.

many of us could not imagine as part of the DBI team. As the tragedy

:43:40.:43:44.

unfolded on the 14th of June, I watched one of the news channels and

:43:45.:43:47.

there was an interview with the resident whose property overlooks

:43:48.:43:53.

the tower, he spoke how from his kitchen window he saw the building

:43:54.:43:58.

on fire with children calling for help from the windows. So many have

:43:59.:44:04.

been affected by this tragedy that we do need to make sure adequate

:44:05.:44:09.

support is in place for the residents, for those living around,

:44:10.:44:14.

for those dealing with the aftermath and also for those children who

:44:15.:44:19.

survived and two frankly saw things that no child should ever have to

:44:20.:44:25.

see. And I want assurances from this government that they will make sure

:44:26.:44:30.

that every adequate support that those people can get will be given.

:44:31.:44:36.

But similarly residents in tower blocks throughout Britain also need

:44:37.:44:39.

reassurances that their homes are safe. As my right honourable friend

:44:40.:44:44.

the member for Wentworth and Dean today make clear, where he made it

:44:45.:44:50.

clear whether government need to improve. For weeks on from this

:44:51.:44:56.

tragedy we are still needing the government to show some leadership

:44:57.:45:01.

because concerns run deep. And they run beyond the neighbourhood

:45:02.:45:04.

surrounding Grenfell. We have heard today how members across this house

:45:05.:45:09.

have been contacted by their own concerns constituents who live

:45:10.:45:12.

within the 4000 other tower blocks in the UK. But ministers still

:45:13.:45:18.

cannot say how many of these tower blocks they consider to be safe. Of

:45:19.:45:25.

the 530 tower blocks covered in aluminium composite material

:45:26.:45:27.

cladding which has been the focus of the testing process, the last update

:45:28.:45:35.

given by ministers only 200 had material tested. We have heard

:45:36.:45:38.

Housing associations whose residents have sought assurances their non-ACM

:45:39.:45:45.

clad buildings are safe and I have three main constituency have been

:45:46.:45:51.

told that the government are refusing to check their cladding due

:45:52.:45:54.

to the current narrow focus of the testing. That is not good enough.

:45:55.:46:00.

Where buildings have failed safety tests like those in Salford, local

:46:01.:46:07.

authorities are now unclear on how to proceed because guidance issued

:46:08.:46:11.

by the Department of community is has been unclear, on whether

:46:12.:46:15.

cladding that fails combustibility tests require removal and if they

:46:16.:46:20.

do, whether leaving it unclad and open to the elements is a worse fire

:46:21.:46:26.

situation then having the cladding on.

:46:27.:46:31.

On July three, the secretary said that houses which failed the test

:46:32.:46:42.

were likely to be compliant with combustibility regulations. As for

:46:43.:46:50.

the exploratory scheme talked about by the Secretary, it could be that

:46:51.:46:57.

some which do not meet the requirements they could be used if

:46:58.:47:05.

the form part of a system of materials which to meet the safety

:47:06.:47:12.

criteria. Whether they meet the criteria for the combustible test,

:47:13.:47:16.

the other is making sure the facade system is meeting certain criteria,

:47:17.:47:25.

following methods in British standards 8414. Under the current

:47:26.:47:30.

regulatory system, even cladding which feels tests for Limited

:47:31.:47:34.

combustibility can be utilised in development as long as the criteria

:47:35.:47:42.

is met. Despite Paul was noted by the Chancellor in his misinformed

:47:43.:47:46.

comments, the cladding used for the project by Grenfell Tower was not

:47:47.:47:53.

banned in the United Kingdom. If we act to prevent a tragedy like that

:47:54.:47:57.

again, we need to get these things right. The Fire Service was first at

:47:58.:48:05.

the scene. We need to make sure the player rule, an important role in

:48:06.:48:10.

the forthcoming enquiry and that the expertise is taken on board and is

:48:11.:48:17.

acted upon. Following the fire, many local authorities have been

:48:18.:48:21.

undertaking safety checks and installing fire prevention systems.

:48:22.:48:24.

I know that many councils have gone beyond looking at just tower blocks

:48:25.:48:33.

looking at other public buildings such as schools and hospitals. As I

:48:34.:48:37.

have already mentioned, some local authorities have begun removing

:48:38.:48:42.

cladding from the buildings after the field tests, but as I have

:48:43.:48:47.

already explained, the building regulations do not reflect

:48:48.:48:53.

necessarily what the documentation being issued by the department would

:48:54.:48:59.

suggest. Some housing providers have since stopped removing cladding

:49:00.:49:03.

because of the lack of direction. They do not know how it could be

:49:04.:49:09.

replaced and by what materials it should be replaced by. Residents are

:49:10.:49:14.

worried that inaction is leaving them vulnerable. But without

:49:15.:49:19.

guidance, local authorities are unsure about how best to act. And

:49:20.:49:25.

leadership and this has not been forthcoming from the Secretary of

:49:26.:49:30.

State, who instead passed the buck to landlords to take decisions on

:49:31.:49:38.

building safety. As my right honourable friend, the shadow

:49:39.:49:42.

Secretary of State for housing noted in his opening remarks. This is not

:49:43.:49:47.

the first time the government have failed to take responsibility for

:49:48.:49:51.

safety, referring to the wants of the former Housing minister who

:49:52.:49:54.

stated that there was the responsibility of the fire of

:49:55.:50:00.

industry, rather than government, to encourage the installation of

:50:01.:50:02.

sprinkler systems. We have heard from around the house the goal for

:50:03.:50:11.

the retrofitting of sprinkler systems. I wish to urge the Minister

:50:12.:50:18.

to consult the all-party Parliamentary group on fire safety

:50:19.:50:22.

because there is an urgent need to make sure that all buildings, public

:50:23.:50:31.

buildings and housing, is safe. I want, if I'm me, to commend the

:50:32.:50:39.

Labour led Stockport Metropolitan Council, in my own constituency, who

:50:40.:50:44.

have agreed to retrofit sprinkler systems in all Stockport tower

:50:45.:50:52.

blocks. That is down to the work of each councillor Sheila Bailey who is

:50:53.:50:56.

making sure that is going to happen. I know that there are similar moves

:50:57.:51:02.

be made by other local authorities by all political persuasions. There

:51:03.:51:06.

is an important matter needing clarified today. They have not given

:51:07.:51:13.

any real commitment to local authorities. The boards of the first

:51:14.:51:16.

Secretary of State when he stood unannounced that they would only be

:51:17.:51:23.

prepared to fund these measures in certain circumstances, basically

:51:24.:51:31.

means that already cash strapped local authorities will have to find

:51:32.:51:36.

money they simply do not have. They will have to cut services elsewhere

:51:37.:51:40.

in order to do that. Unless the government know comes to the

:51:41.:51:46.

dispatch box and explains how the define only going to make resources

:51:47.:51:50.

available to local authorities to do these works and what step that means

:51:51.:51:58.

in practical terms, it is a bit of an empty promise. Finally, I wanted

:51:59.:52:06.

to. I will give way. Thank you. I have written a question to the

:52:07.:52:18.

Secretary of State. I have told unto see how would this be assessed, the

:52:19.:52:24.

funding for local authorities? He has given me a rather empty answer

:52:25.:52:29.

to a pressing problem. It absolutely is. Unless the minister in his

:52:30.:52:34.

summing up can explain how local authorities are going to get that

:52:35.:52:39.

resource, the fact is, in my honourable friend 's constituency,

:52:40.:52:42.

like many other councils in the country, they just do not have the

:52:43.:52:47.

financial means to be able to do that without some certainty that

:52:48.:52:52.

they are going to get some recompense from central government.

:52:53.:52:56.

I want to quickly come to the issue of government. We have heard that

:52:57.:53:03.

the task force sent in to advise Kensington and Chelsea Council like

:53:04.:53:06.

the powers necessary to coordinate the things that need to be done

:53:07.:53:13.

following this disaster. They have the deficit in local leadership.

:53:14.:53:19.

This task force, as the First Minister said, can advise, but

:53:20.:53:25.

cannot act. This is surely an issue of real concern. This council,

:53:26.:53:30.

Kensington and Chelsea, was just not up to the job in terms of dealing

:53:31.:53:37.

with a disaster of this magnitude. The response was quite not

:53:38.:53:45.

acceptable, in any sense of that era. There is a very real concern

:53:46.:53:50.

about the week Kensington and Chelsea have not just handled the

:53:51.:53:56.

immediacy of this tragedy, but also the shortcomings by the local

:53:57.:53:59.

authority in the days and weeks after it. Again, speaking to those

:54:00.:54:06.

offering support to survivors, there are real concerns that financial

:54:07.:54:14.

support is still not what it should be. I appreciate that ministers have

:54:15.:54:19.

given assurances that benefits will not be affected. But the lack of

:54:20.:54:24.

trust that some continue to police in the elected representatives

:54:25.:54:28.

locally have led to some refusing support. This needs to be addressed

:54:29.:54:33.

at the local level. Secondly, the ability of the council to deal with

:54:34.:54:40.

these serious shortcomings in the contingency plan and in management

:54:41.:54:49.

have emerged and yet the government have not been able to intervene and

:54:50.:54:54.

they have not been Goodenough. People still in need and support and

:54:55.:55:01.

still in need of housing. There have been an acknowledgement that there

:55:02.:55:05.

are areas of the council work which have not been Goodenough. But those

:55:06.:55:12.

who feel to residents are still in charge. We have here at the new

:55:13.:55:18.

leader of the council saying she had never been inside the high-rise

:55:19.:55:25.

tower block before. What a farce. On the first of this month, Labour

:55:26.:55:28.

called for commissioners to be sent in to take control of the situation.

:55:29.:55:33.

Trust with the local community will not be rebuilt by the leader of

:55:34.:55:38.

local politicians unless there is a major shake-up. What we are seeing,

:55:39.:55:45.

Mr Speaker, and it will repeat the call made on the first of this month

:55:46.:55:52.

is that local people want to see that the government is taking

:55:53.:55:55.

control of the situation, that there is a shake-up in the management and

:55:56.:55:59.

governance of Kensington and Chelsea and that the situation will be

:56:00.:56:07.

closely monitored and managed directly by commissioners and

:56:08.:56:10.

struggled to the Secretary of State in Parliament and until the capacity

:56:11.:56:18.

of that local authority is fit for purpose to govern in the interests

:56:19.:56:22.

of all residents of Kensington and Chelsea. We're still in a position

:56:23.:56:28.

we are all those who lost their homes are in secure accommodation,

:56:29.:56:31.

until we are in a position where support is made for all who need it

:56:32.:56:35.

and until we are in a position in a position to the public are able to

:56:36.:56:41.

place their trust in elected representatives in Kensington and

:56:42.:56:45.

Chelsea Council, we will repeat work call that the commissioners should

:56:46.:56:49.

take over the running of that council. Changes are needed. Changes

:56:50.:56:53.

are needed for the governance of the council. It is based on evidence we

:56:54.:57:00.

already have at the moment. We urge the government to meet that and make

:57:01.:57:06.

that happen swiftly. If they do so, they will have our support. We have

:57:07.:57:15.

a DD killed and wide-ranging debate today. Me I start by congratulating

:57:16.:57:23.

all the members who have made maiden speeches today. Lewisham, Barnsley

:57:24.:57:32.

East, Croydon Central. We have also had powerful speeches from the

:57:33.:57:41.

member for Southampton, Cheltenham, Brentwood and read each. We also

:57:42.:57:44.

hear from the member from Kensington and Chelsea who has been very

:57:45.:57:49.

involved with dealing with the residents and being part of that

:57:50.:57:54.

response. We have heard from members of the all-party group on fire

:57:55.:58:02.

safety. I would say to the Shadow Minister that I also had a meeting

:58:03.:58:09.

with to hear the detail setting out what they wanted to happen as part

:58:10.:58:18.

of the enquiry going forward. Colleagues have had an opportunity

:58:19.:58:22.

to express a range of views, some obviously different from others.

:58:23.:58:28.

What does unite others in this house today is the view that, ultimately,

:58:29.:58:32.

the people who matter most of those who are directly affected by this

:58:33.:58:36.

terrible tragedy. They must have questions answered as to what the

:58:37.:58:45.

enquiry will precisely do. The secretary Shadow for housing says he

:58:46.:58:49.

will not rest until the people have not got the help they need, making

:58:50.:58:54.

sure this never happens again. Let me give you an assurance that we

:58:55.:58:59.

will not rest until all three of these conditions are met. Neither

:59:00.:59:04.

will any colleague in this house. Let me once again place my deepest

:59:05.:59:11.

condolences for those who suffered a great loss as the result of this

:59:12.:59:16.

fire which we all agree should never have happened. Colleagues from

:59:17.:59:20.

around the house are paid tribute to victims, their families and the hero

:59:21.:59:25.

was of the emergency services. I know these heartfelt views will be

:59:26.:59:30.

here than echoed across the country. Today's debate has provided the

:59:31.:59:33.

opportunity to reflect on the skill of the human cost of the tragedy,

:59:34.:59:38.

but has also given as a valuable chance to look ahead for what comes

:59:39.:59:43.

next, principally the public enquiry to establish exactly what went wrong

:59:44.:59:48.

and who is responsible. Colleagues have raised a range of issues.

:59:49.:59:55.

Before I continue, perhaps I can spend a few minutes responding to

:59:56.:59:59.

some of them. In terms of the help be made available to those affected,

:00:00.:00:05.

as all members will know, we have made offers to all those who want

:00:06.:00:14.

offers made to them. Secondary offers have been made. 19 of the

:00:15.:00:18.

families have now accepted an offer. I would point out, is a note

:00:19.:00:26.

honourable members know, we need to go at the speed the families want us

:00:27.:00:32.

to go out. That is very important. Some of them will want to move into

:00:33.:00:37.

permanent accommodation, rather than temporary accommodation. We accept

:00:38.:00:41.

that. We have had discussions about that. I hope we will soon be able to

:00:42.:00:47.

be in a position where we have more news about the flat in Kensington

:00:48.:00:53.

and we are also looking to secure a similar accommodation so we have

:00:54.:01:01.

social housing rather than taking up posting which others may have

:01:02.:01:06.

occupied. No one will be forced into a house they do not want to go into.

:01:07.:01:13.

120 households that received a grant of ?5,000, many others have received

:01:14.:01:22.

a ?500 cash payment and a total almost ?4 million has been paid out

:01:23.:01:25.

from the discretionary fund. Colleagues have raised issues around

:01:26.:01:29.

trauma support, that is being made available to those who absolutely

:01:30.:01:35.

need it and given the exceptional nature of the incident, we have

:01:36.:01:40.

agreed that funding that this will be used even though no crime has

:01:41.:01:49.

been committed that we are aware of. There was a discussion around the

:01:50.:01:53.

government response to the testing regime we put in place, I have to

:01:54.:01:58.

say that I think the Secretary of State has led right from the start

:01:59.:02:02.

on this. I have been by his side and he has led on this and I would say

:02:03.:02:07.

to Honourable members look on the government website and it will tell

:02:08.:02:11.

you all the letters we have written to local authorities Housing

:02:12.:02:15.

associations, or the tests that we have suggested are done and yes, we

:02:16.:02:22.

have 211 tests that have come back as positive or negative but what I

:02:23.:02:28.

would say if we are working with the Local Government Association and

:02:29.:02:31.

others to encourage housing associations and local councils and

:02:32.:02:38.

private landlords to send in the cladding protesting and what I would

:02:39.:02:40.

say to every member here and they can help with this is that I know

:02:41.:02:46.

they will be in touch with local authorities but please us, ask your

:02:47.:02:57.

local... Can he confirm that half or more of all the high-rise towers

:02:58.:03:02.

that were identified at the earlier point in this discussion have not

:03:03.:03:06.

submitted materials to be tested because that is the clear

:03:07.:03:11.

implication of what he's saying now? What I'm saying is we want to get

:03:12.:03:15.

this testing done as quickly as possible. We have got the resources

:03:16.:03:23.

available for that, if I may, there are also some cases where local

:03:24.:03:27.

authorities will have sent in one piece of cladding for testing from

:03:28.:03:31.

the building and had a number of buildings that were re-clad at a

:03:32.:03:35.

similar time so what we are hoping to establish is whether that is the

:03:36.:03:39.

case or not so there is an north a lot of work going on, I recommend it

:03:40.:03:44.

to Honourable members please have a look on the website which will tell

:03:45.:03:48.

you in great detail what the expert advisory panel is doing and all the

:03:49.:03:52.

tests that are being carried out. Members also talked about insulation

:03:53.:03:56.

and when we wrote to local authorities on the 22nd of June we

:03:57.:04:01.

also asked them to look at insulation and there are tests,

:04:02.:04:06.

there was an announcement on the 6th of July where the independent panel

:04:07.:04:12.

announced they will be recommending wider system checks of cladding and

:04:13.:04:18.

testing ACM panels with two of the most commonly used insulation

:04:19.:04:23.

materials as well. There was discussion around building

:04:24.:04:25.

regulations, I would respectfully point out that these were put

:04:26.:04:30.

together in 2006, not when the current government was in place so

:04:31.:04:34.

this idea that deregulation has played a part is really quite

:04:35.:04:43.

unfair. If I may also make reference to the Lakanal house and what is it

:04:44.:04:48.

the coroner wanted to happen, the coroner recommended simplifying the

:04:49.:04:54.

fire safety guidance and the building regulations, not a change

:04:55.:05:00.

in the standards and I accept that has not happened as yet but clearly

:05:01.:05:04.

in the light of this tragedy we need to reflect on the previous plans the

:05:05.:05:09.

consulting and if anything emerges from the investigation we need to

:05:10.:05:14.

take immediate action, we will do that and the expert advisory panel

:05:15.:05:18.

which my right honourable friend has appointed is considering a range of

:05:19.:05:22.

matters but particularly whether there are any immediate additional

:05:23.:05:26.

actions that need to be taken to ensure the safety of existing

:05:27.:05:37.

high-rise buildings. Could he clarify whether the testing and

:05:38.:05:40.

regulation review the government is undertaking extends to other

:05:41.:05:43.

buildings that may be affected, schools, hospitals? Yes, that work

:05:44.:05:51.

is ongoing. There was discussion about the panel, the independent

:05:52.:05:57.

recovery task force that has been appointed by the Secretary of State

:05:58.:06:02.

to look at Kensington, I would point out that we have done this and if we

:06:03.:06:07.

had gone down the road of having commissioners that would have been a

:06:08.:06:10.

statutory intervention, it would have taken longer and argue is what

:06:11.:06:14.

we need to do is get people in there now and focus particularly on

:06:15.:06:18.

housing regeneration community engagement and they will report

:06:19.:06:29.

directly to the Secretary of State. Who they are and where they are?

:06:30.:06:35.

That information will be published shortly. On product safety, the

:06:36.:06:41.

honourable member Hammersmith raise this point particularly and can I

:06:42.:06:48.

say the government of course has a working group on product recalls

:06:49.:06:52.

which has been working and the government has asked the working

:06:53.:06:55.

group to review urgently its final report in the light of the Grenfell

:06:56.:07:00.

Tower tragedy. And finally, on social housing, I know who will have

:07:01.:07:04.

an option to to debate these matters in the months and years ahead but I

:07:05.:07:11.

would point out to the Shadow Secretary of State that during the

:07:12.:07:15.

period of 97 to 2010 the number of social rented homes fell by 420,000

:07:16.:07:25.

but since 2010 we have had 333,000 new affordable homes which have been

:07:26.:07:32.

delivered. I think that debate for another day. May I just return to

:07:33.:07:43.

the public enquiry? In terms of the debate coming has not come back to

:07:44.:07:47.

the issue of what funding will be available to other local authorities

:07:48.:07:49.

carrying out this essential works and what criteria will be used to

:07:50.:07:56.

assess any funding applications? I think the Secretary of State and

:07:57.:07:58.

other ministers have been absolutely clear, we do not want local

:07:59.:08:04.

authorities or housing associations to stop them doing anything that is

:08:05.:08:08.

necessary to keep people safe and if they're not able to fund this will

:08:09.:08:14.

work with them and we will work with them on the funding process. Let me

:08:15.:08:21.

continue. There will be a range of views expressed about the cause of

:08:22.:08:27.

the Grenfell... I will not give way. I must continue. A range of views

:08:28.:08:34.

expressed by the cause of the Grenfell Tower tragedy but what is

:08:35.:08:38.

vitally important is that we have a full independent public enquiry with

:08:39.:08:42.

a remix that goes way beyond the design, construction and

:08:43.:08:45.

modification of the building itself, an effective and prompt enquiry will

:08:46.:08:51.

follow defined terms of reference and setting those is crucial. The

:08:52.:08:55.

terms or beset formally by the prime minister but she would do so

:08:56.:08:58.

following the recommendations from the public enquiries chair, Sir

:08:59.:09:04.

Martin who was appointed to head of the enquiry on the 29th of June and

:09:05.:09:08.

on that day he spoke with some who had been likely affected by this

:09:09.:09:12.

tragedy when he visited the site. Sir Martin has been clear in his

:09:13.:09:15.

desire to consult the affected residents about what the terms of

:09:16.:09:19.

the reference should be and I know he has been meeting with to hear

:09:20.:09:23.

their views, he has also said he welcomes the views from the wider

:09:24.:09:29.

community. These are the actions of a person who wants to proactively

:09:30.:09:33.

engage with those directly affected right from the start. And I would

:09:34.:09:38.

urge members who have concerns or ideas about the terms to raise them

:09:39.:09:42.

with the enquiry team and details are available on the enquiry

:09:43.:09:46.

website, Grenfell Tower enquiry .org .uk. During today's debate, some

:09:47.:09:55.

concern has been expressed about Sir Martin's suitability for the role

:09:56.:10:01.

but as the first Secretary of State said, he is independent,

:10:02.:10:03.

well-qualified and totally impartial. He is a hugely

:10:04.:10:08.

experienced former Court of appeal judge. Judges decide cases solely on

:10:09.:10:14.

the evidence presented in court and in accordance with the law. As a

:10:15.:10:19.

senior judge, Sir Martin has worked across a range of cases. There are

:10:20.:10:23.

cases where some Martin has been praised by lawyers and cases where

:10:24.:10:28.

he has found in favour of housing association tenants. But in each

:10:29.:10:31.

case he would have made decisions based on the law on the evidence,

:10:32.:10:37.

nothing more, nothing less. Members opposite may be aware that from

:10:38.:10:44.

December 2005 until 2009 he was chair of the legal service

:10:45.:10:47.

consultative panel advising success of Lord Chancellor is on the

:10:48.:10:50.

regulation and trading of lawyers, legal services and other related

:10:51.:10:56.

matters. Lord Chancellor is he served one Lord Faulkner and Jack

:10:57.:11:01.

Straw. I previously noted it is important to government, central and

:11:02.:11:05.

local, to work hard to win the trust of those directly affected by this

:11:06.:11:11.

tragedy. I have no doubt that Sir Martin is similarly aware he needs

:11:12.:11:16.

to foster that trust. And I'm sure as his dialogue with the local

:11:17.:11:19.

community continues they will note his only motivation is to get to the

:11:20.:11:24.

bottom of what happened. I can assure members that the government

:11:25.:11:28.

will co-operate fully with the inquiry and I had the same will be

:11:29.:11:32.

true of the local authority and any other individual or body who has

:11:33.:11:38.

worked -- whose work falls within inquiry remit. It is vital no stone

:11:39.:11:42.

is left unturned and anyone who has done wrong there is nowhere to hide.

:11:43.:11:47.

And to help get to the truth, survivors of the fire and the

:11:48.:11:50.

families of victims will receive funding for legal representation at

:11:51.:11:54.

the enquiry, details of how the access legal funding will follow

:11:55.:12:00.

once the enquiry is up and running. I know some concern has been raised

:12:01.:12:06.

by the lack of coroners inquest, let me assure colleagues there will be

:12:07.:12:10.

an inquest and the coroner is all ready investigating the deaths, this

:12:11.:12:15.

is statutory duty. The police that investigation is all ready under way

:12:16.:12:20.

in conjunction with the London Fire Brigade and Health and Safety

:12:21.:12:24.

Executive. The police investigation will consider potential criminal

:12:25.:12:29.

liability. The police have been very clear, arrests will follow if any

:12:30.:12:33.

evidence of criminal wrongdoing is found. And unlike a coroner inquest,

:12:34.:12:37.

a full judge led public enquiry will allow us to look at the broader

:12:38.:12:45.

circumstances leading up to the surrounding fire at Grenfell Tower

:12:46.:12:48.

and allow us to take any action necessary as quickly as possible to

:12:49.:12:51.

prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. I know colleagues

:12:52.:12:57.

have expressed concerns about timing, of course we want the

:12:58.:13:01.

enquiry to be completed as quickly as possible and the main priority

:13:02.:13:05.

will be to establish the facts and what action is needed to prevent a

:13:06.:13:09.

similar tragedy from happening again. It will be for some Martin to

:13:10.:13:13.

determine the timescale enquiry but I'm certain he will be aware of the

:13:14.:13:17.

universal desire to see an interim report published at the earliest

:13:18.:13:22.

opportunity. In the case of some past disasters like Hillsborough, it

:13:23.:13:28.

took far too long for the whole story of what happens to emerge. We

:13:29.:13:32.

do not want that to be the case with Grenfell Tower. Which is why the

:13:33.:13:37.

prime minister ordered a full public enquiry as soon as the scale of the

:13:38.:13:42.

tragedy became apparent. Regardless of politics or ideology, regardless

:13:43.:13:46.

of what we think the best course of action is, all of us here want one

:13:47.:13:54.

thing, the trees. -- the truth. It might prove uncomfortable for some

:13:55.:13:58.

might not fit the preconception of others but the truth must come out.

:13:59.:14:03.

I'm confident Sir Martin will see to it that the truth does come out. Mr

:14:04.:14:09.

Speaker, the survivors of the Grenfell fire and the families of

:14:10.:14:17.

those who lost no less. The question is that this house considers the

:14:18.:14:24.

Grenfell Tower Fire inquiry, as many of that opinion say aye, contrary

:14:25.:14:29.

say no. The ayes have it. Just before we come to the matter for

:14:30.:14:35.

which a good many members are waiting, I imagine they are, and if

:14:36.:14:40.

they are not they should be, they could be waiting with the

:14:41.:14:45.

anticipation the adjournment debate but quite a lot are probably waited

:14:46.:14:49.

the announcement of the results of the election of the chairs of select

:14:50.:14:52.

committees but before we come to that I will take the point of order

:14:53.:14:59.

from Jenny Chapman. The house is aware that the repeal bill is to be

:15:00.:15:04.

published tomorrow morning but disconcertingly the Labour Party has

:15:05.:15:08.

received reports that the press is to be briefed on its contents this

:15:09.:15:13.

evening. Mr Speaker, have you received any notice from the

:15:14.:15:15.

government that a minister intends to come to this house at the

:15:16.:15:19.

earliest opportunity to make a statement as to the contents of the

:15:20.:15:24.

bill or if not, can you please advise me as to how we might be able

:15:25.:15:30.

to bring the contents of the house to the attention of the house before

:15:31.:15:37.

the 21st of July? I thank Evra point of order, the short answer is I have

:15:38.:15:40.

received no indication of any tension of a minister to make a

:15:41.:15:45.

statement this matter tomorrow -- any intention. However, it is

:15:46.:15:51.

perfectly open to the honourable lady and her colleagues to ensure

:15:52.:15:55.

they have a default position so that if no ministerial statement is

:15:56.:16:01.

proffered, they could at least give themselves the chance of an urgent

:16:02.:16:06.

question. I cannot offer any guarantee as to whether such a

:16:07.:16:10.

question would be selected but it can be selected by definition only

:16:11.:16:15.

if it is submitted. In so far as she seeks my advice, that is my advice

:16:16.:16:19.

without prejudice. If there are no pot further points

:16:20.:16:32.

of order, we come to the results of the election of Cheers to select

:16:33.:16:38.

committees. The nominations for the 27 subcommittee closed on Friday the

:16:39.:16:48.

7th of July. No ballot was necessary for 17 committees, four of which a

:16:49.:16:58.

single nomination had been received. Culture media and sport, Damian

:16:59.:17:06.

Collins. Exiting the European Union, Henry Bill. International

:17:07.:17:13.

development, Steven Tweed. Justice, Robert Neill. Petitions, Edward

:17:14.:17:23.

Jones. Public accounts Meg Hillier. Scottish fears, Paul Wishart.

:17:24.:17:29.

Standards, Kevin Barron. Women and equality Maria Miller. I see what I

:17:30.:17:37.

am about to seek for the benefit of people attending to proceedings out

:17:38.:17:43.

with the chamber. What I have said means that those named individuals

:17:44.:17:52.

have been elected or in many cases re-elected as the head of these

:17:53.:17:57.

select committees. In the contested elections, 587 ballots were

:17:58.:18:02.

submitted. The following candidates were elected. Backbench business, E

:18:03.:18:16.

in May is. Business, energy and industrial strategy, Rachel Reeves.

:18:17.:18:19.

Communities and local government full, Clive Betts. Education, Robert

:18:20.:18:34.

A. Environment, food and rural affairs, Neil Parish. Foreign

:18:35.:18:47.

affairs, told. Science and technology, Norman Lamb. Transport,

:18:48.:18:53.

Lillian Greenwood. Treasury, Nicky Morgan. The full breakdown of voting

:18:54.:19:02.

in each contest, votes applicable to each candidate is set out in a paper

:19:03.:19:13.

shortly available on the Parliament website and members shall elect to

:19:14.:19:17.

take up positions formally when the committee has been nominated by the

:19:18.:19:23.

house. I congratulate all the honourable members concerned. I

:19:24.:19:30.

hope, with the concurrence of the house, thank all of those candidates

:19:31.:19:37.

who took part in the elections. This is the somewhat more democratic

:19:38.:19:49.

house in 2017 by comparison with an earlier era. Thank you, colleagues.

:19:50.:19:54.

We come no to the adjournment. To move. The question is that this

:19:55.:20:05.

house do know John. I am saddened speedy exit, but not surprised, of

:20:06.:20:15.

large numbers of members. If they are members wishing to leave who do

:20:16.:20:19.

not wish to hear the creation of the honourable gentleman, subject to

:20:20.:20:30.

redundancy moderation audits, a tizzy departure on the ugly part, I

:20:31.:20:34.

hope they will leave quickly and quietly. The question is that this

:20:35.:20:45.

house do no adjournment. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am grateful to raise

:20:46.:20:52.

the redundancy modification orders question. Is the name implies, the

:20:53.:21:05.

order next to his ears continuity of employment when they move between

:21:06.:21:09.

local government positions. Pretty much every type of job which

:21:10.:21:15.

belonged to the local government family is covered by this. To

:21:16.:21:19.

illustrate this, the List already includes bodies in my own

:21:20.:21:27.

constituency. The likes of the Scottish Environment Agency,

:21:28.:21:30.

Scottish water and the Scottish committee for the regulation of

:21:31.:21:38.

care. I would like to draw members to the explanatory notes. The order

:21:39.:21:46.

modify certain positions of the employment rates act 1996 regarding

:21:47.:21:51.

redundancy payments in the application to persons employed by

:21:52.:21:55.

certain local government employers or other employers and related

:21:56.:21:59.

sectors. The modifications have the effect that the employment of such a

:22:00.:22:04.

person by more than one such employer may be treated as of it

:22:05.:22:09.

were continuous for the purpose of those provisions. The re-engagement

:22:10.:22:13.

of such a person or an offer made by an employer is made as a fitness

:22:14.:22:23.

re-engagement. That means, in ordinary language, it means success

:22:24.:22:28.

of employment is deemed as concert continuous. The provisions of the

:22:29.:22:36.

1996 act would apply. If an employer receives a job offer from another

:22:37.:22:40.

listed body under the body and starts a new role within four weeks

:22:41.:22:46.

from the end of the job, the are regarded as having continuity of

:22:47.:22:51.

employment. If they do not have the job within the first four weeks,

:22:52.:22:55.

they are able to terminate the contract and be eligible for any

:22:56.:23:03.

redundancy payments. No continuous service accounts other than to

:23:04.:23:07.

anything other than the redundancy payment. Such continuous employment

:23:08.:23:22.

does not allow the employee other greats, such as sickness. This order

:23:23.:23:27.

has been amended a number of times, with the last amendment being two

:23:28.:23:33.

years ago. The crux of the issue and the reason for the debate is the

:23:34.:23:37.

lack of progress made on updating the order and the impact of this on

:23:38.:23:44.

employees rates and benefits. Pension and annual leave

:23:45.:23:52.

entitlement. As many terms of conditions of local government

:23:53.:23:56.

employment are links to continuous service, the impact on changing

:23:57.:23:59.

employers extends far beyond redundancy rates, affecting other

:24:00.:24:05.

entitlements such as sickness rates and maternity pay. There are a

:24:06.:24:09.

number of organisations across the United Kingdom yet to be included in

:24:10.:24:13.

the order, despite applying for inclusion. Many up like many years

:24:14.:24:21.

ago. Many -- one of them as the Falkirk community trust, which

:24:22.:24:23.

applies shortly after its establishment six years ago. The

:24:24.:24:32.

been approved for inclusion. Today, this inclusion has not taken place

:24:33.:24:37.

and has been beset by delays. The government stated two years ago that

:24:38.:24:42.

the order would be updated in due course. As the gunmen as a way, the

:24:43.:24:48.

Department for Communities and Local Government on behalf of the United

:24:49.:24:51.

Kingdom government and the devolved administrations in Scotland and

:24:52.:24:57.

Wales Acts for them. I have been told they are actively working

:24:58.:25:02.

options taking forward to the redundancy modification order will

:25:03.:25:09.

update. I am grateful for giving way. He is making a very powerful

:25:10.:25:14.

speech about this important issue. As he had any indication from the

:25:15.:25:18.

government as to why this is taking so long and when there will be a

:25:19.:25:25.

resolution? That is indeed a question I was coming to. I have

:25:26.:25:29.

asked that in written questions and I hope the Minister will answer that

:25:30.:25:35.

tonight. In November last year, I wrote to ministers are scheming to

:25:36.:25:43.

set a firm timetable for this. The response I received was completely

:25:44.:25:47.

unsatisfactory. No explanation for the delays are no firm commitment

:25:48.:25:51.

for updating the commitment within any team skill. No updates have been

:25:52.:25:56.

made. Many employees across the country in a form of humble as to

:25:57.:26:00.

whether they are in continuous service and whether it is to be

:26:01.:26:05.

recognised. Thousands of local government workers are unaware that

:26:06.:26:08.

could potentially be affected by this lack of action. One such person

:26:09.:26:15.

who has been affected as many constituent who first made me aware

:26:16.:26:20.

of this. She has worked in local government for over 20 years. Having

:26:21.:26:25.

transferred employers on occasions, 30s highlights the problem of this.

:26:26.:26:32.

In 2013, from employer at the time, North Lanarkshire Council, formed an

:26:33.:26:38.

arms length company called North Lanarkshire properties. A small

:26:39.:26:43.

number of staff reassured that in addition to the order was a

:26:44.:26:48.

formality as it was imminent. Given the relatively straightforward this

:26:49.:26:52.

process should be, that assurance has not seen to be a reasonable one.

:26:53.:26:57.

Life is really straightforward. When she took up a new post with Falkirk

:26:58.:27:04.

Council last year she discovered that they had still not been

:27:05.:27:08.

informed of the decision as to whether they had been added to the

:27:09.:27:14.

redundancy modification order. She has lost continuity of service. She

:27:15.:27:18.

and others need to know when a decision will be made and whether

:27:19.:27:23.

this will be retrospective. We find ourselves in the situation where the

:27:24.:27:27.

right to be unfairly dismissed and the rate to redundancy payment,

:27:28.:27:31.

which required two years continuous service, have been met. Workers

:27:32.:27:36.

affected by this risk losing these rates. While I hope the situation

:27:37.:27:42.

will be retrospectively resolved, I wonder what happens to anyone read

:27:43.:27:46.

redundant poll this limbo period is in place? Without a doubt, the

:27:47.:27:53.

redundancy modification order is had a huge impact on continuous service

:27:54.:27:57.

benefits, including pension, annual leave entitlement and other

:27:58.:28:01.

conditions. Quite simply, this is not good enough that public sector

:28:02.:28:07.

staff are not treated better. There are more than enough challenges and

:28:08.:28:12.

local government without managers and staff having to investigate and

:28:13.:28:16.

try to sort out stuff conditions and benefits from changing jobs under

:28:17.:28:20.

such circumstances. In recent years, local government has had to come up

:28:21.:28:25.

with many effective ways of making efficiency savings and streamlining

:28:26.:28:29.

delivery of public services. The creation of arms length companies

:28:30.:28:32.

has been a regular feature of that process. That has happened up and

:28:33.:28:37.

down the United Kingdom. Many members will note of the Labour

:28:38.:28:43.

trusts set up within the own constituencies in recent years. I

:28:44.:28:48.

wonder how many are included in the current redundancy modification

:28:49.:28:54.

orders? The numbers of affected companies and workers is likely to

:28:55.:28:58.

continue to increase. The frequency of updates to the order to include

:28:59.:29:03.

new employment is not keeping pace with life in the public sector.

:29:04.:29:08.

Those affected are very frustrated. I share the frustration. I have a

:29:09.:29:15.

number of questions to ask. Why is this taking so long? When will it be

:29:16.:29:22.

resolved? And what will be done to sort this retrospectively, to ensure

:29:23.:29:25.

hard-working constituents affected by these delays do not potentially

:29:26.:29:32.

lose out? Particularly, how can we make sure those affected will not

:29:33.:29:36.

get lost benefits when things finally catch up with the new

:29:37.:29:42.

employment? In conclusion, the order is a key instrument in protecting

:29:43.:29:46.

the Thames and Prince conditions of local government workers. It should

:29:47.:29:49.

be given a higher priority than it has been done by this government.

:29:50.:29:55.

Ministers will still need to look at the preservation of other service

:29:56.:30:00.

benefits such as annual leave and sickness benefits. As a mentioned

:30:01.:30:04.

earlier, the Department for Communities and Local Government on

:30:05.:30:09.

behalf of the devolved administrations, I would suggest

:30:10.:30:13.

that given legislative competency over local government is devolved to

:30:14.:30:16.

the Scottish Government, perhaps it would make sense to devolve the

:30:17.:30:24.

issue of the order to Scotland. I would like to hear the minister's

:30:25.:30:29.

suggestion and his response to that these questions? I call the

:30:30.:30:36.

Minister, Marcus Jones to reply. I would like to thank the honourable

:30:37.:30:43.

gentleman for bringing up this issue. And for giving me this

:30:44.:30:49.

opportunity to respond. The redundancy modification order is a

:30:50.:30:54.

statutory instrument which allows local government to carry over the

:30:55.:30:58.

employment service when they move between employers within the local

:30:59.:30:59.

government family. The order covers England, Scotland

:31:00.:31:07.

and Wales. It has the effect of making bodies which are providing

:31:08.:31:12.

local authority functions and which are listed as associated employers

:31:13.:31:18.

for the purposes of statutory redundancy payments. For the

:31:19.:31:22.

individual working in local government, this means their

:31:23.:31:26.

employment service with any body listed on the redundancy

:31:27.:31:30.

modification order can be used to calculate a redundancy payment in

:31:31.:31:33.

the event that the individual is made redundant. It brings local

:31:34.:31:40.

government in line with the arrangements that exist for other

:31:41.:31:44.

associated employers and the employment rights act 1986 for

:31:45.:31:48.

example the civil service and I know the honourable gentleman did mention

:31:49.:31:55.

that in his speech. Employment matters in relation to the

:31:56.:32:01.

employment rights act 1996 will usually be administered by the part

:32:02.:32:06.

for business innovation and skills but given the redundancy

:32:07.:32:10.

modification orders focus on local government in 2009 it was decided

:32:11.:32:15.

that the Department for communities and local would be best placed to

:32:16.:32:20.

take the lead on this matter. This is why I am responding to to the

:32:21.:32:27.

house on this matter this evening. I know generally the redundancy

:32:28.:32:30.

modification order enjoys broad support of the local government

:32:31.:32:35.

sector, it is part of the local government employment rights

:32:36.:32:40.

framework, when seeking to outsource services and other operations local

:32:41.:32:43.

authorities will often apply for the new body to be part of the

:32:44.:32:48.

redundancy modification order. The redundancy modification order has

:32:49.:32:52.

been in place since 1993 and was last consolidated into one piece of

:32:53.:32:57.

legislation in 1999. Since 1999 there have been a number of separate

:32:58.:33:03.

orders which have been made and added as new bodies to the list of

:33:04.:33:07.

associated bodies. It is fair to say over that time and order has become

:33:08.:33:13.

a rather untidy piece of legislation, unwieldy and often

:33:14.:33:19.

difficult for people both in local and central government to navigate

:33:20.:33:23.

or administer. It is also clear that more could be done to ensure that

:33:24.:33:27.

the current criteria and processes used by government to add new bodies

:33:28.:33:31.

to the redundancy modification order are far more open and transparent.

:33:32.:33:37.

For these reasons, the order is currently under review. Any review

:33:38.:33:43.

must ensure redundancy modification order is not in the future overly

:33:44.:33:49.

burdensome on process cost. I would like to ensure the order is focused

:33:50.:33:52.

on core local government services and functions and delivers good

:33:53.:34:00.

value for money for taxpayers. There are a number of outstanding

:34:01.:34:03.

applications for bodies waiting to be added to the redundancy

:34:04.:34:06.

modification order including several Scottish bodies as the honourable

:34:07.:34:11.

gentleman referred to. Many of these bodies have been waiting some time

:34:12.:34:16.

to know whether they will be added or not and therefore become an

:34:17.:34:20.

associated employer, to those bodies I do offer my apologies for the

:34:21.:34:26.

delay in providing the answer to them. As I have always stated, the

:34:27.:34:35.

redundancy modification order is currently under review. In relation

:34:36.:34:44.

to the story that the honourable gentleman brought up his

:34:45.:34:47.

constituency in relation to the effect on his constituent in

:34:48.:34:55.

relation to the redundancy modification order and the review

:34:56.:34:58.

currently taking place, I would be grateful if the honourable gentleman

:34:59.:35:03.

could write to me with more information in relation to that

:35:04.:35:07.

particular case and I will be interested to hear that. The

:35:08.:35:16.

honourable member also asked if the government intends to devolve some

:35:17.:35:21.

of the redundancy modification order functions to the Scottish

:35:22.:35:25.

government. As he may know, the Scottish government has approached

:35:26.:35:32.

DCLG ministers with a proposal to transport functions of the

:35:33.:35:36.

redundancy modification order under section 63 of the Scotland act 1998

:35:37.:35:40.

to the Scottish government. This will effectively remove the need for

:35:41.:35:48.

my department officials to consider applications for inclusion on the

:35:49.:35:52.

order and remove ministers from my department from making decisions.

:35:53.:35:58.

I'm alert to the fact the Scottish government has good reasons for

:35:59.:36:01.

proposing these changes and I understand there has been a number

:36:02.:36:09.

of other wide-ranging public sector reforms, one example is the

:36:10.:36:13.

integration of health and social care partnership arrangements across

:36:14.:36:17.

Scotland. As one of the Scottish government flagship public sector

:36:18.:36:21.

reform policies, I am sure they are keen to ensure the transition to new

:36:22.:36:24.

arrangement is implemented as smoothly as possible. However, her

:36:25.:36:30.

Majesty is government has a clear position on UK employment matters

:36:31.:36:35.

and it is this that employment matters are reserved and as such

:36:36.:36:41.

DCLG has no plans to devolve any functions of the redundancy

:36:42.:36:46.

modification order to the Scottish government. This decision was

:36:47.:36:51.

communicated to the Secretary of State for Scotland before the

:36:52.:36:57.

general election and I am happy to write directly to the Scottish

:36:58.:37:00.

government ministers to confirm this. I thank him for his answers

:37:01.:37:07.

and while I'm disappointed with devolution, can he address the point

:37:08.:37:12.

and made to how this order can be updated because a over six years for

:37:13.:37:15.

this Scottish organisations is utterly unacceptable. I will respond

:37:16.:37:25.

to him in just one moment. I would like to finish the point I was

:37:26.:37:32.

making about the potential or request, the request that had been

:37:33.:37:37.

made to devolve this matter to the Scottish government. I would add to

:37:38.:37:44.

my comments that I am keen to work with the Scottish government to

:37:45.:37:49.

further explore these matters, in particularly to identify if there

:37:50.:37:52.

are any other options available to achieve a successful outcome for all

:37:53.:37:58.

parties and therefore I propose in the first instance my officials and

:37:59.:38:06.

their counterparts from the Scotland office and the Scottish government

:38:07.:38:09.

meet as soon as possible to better understand the concerns of the

:38:10.:38:15.

Scottish government. Now the honourable gentleman, I would

:38:16.:38:22.

finally like to finish on a couple of points that he raised in relation

:38:23.:38:30.

to the review. As I said, this is still under review and I understand

:38:31.:38:35.

the honourable gentleman's frustration with that but it is

:38:36.:38:41.

important we do get this issue right. His right to say that this

:38:42.:38:49.

matter could have come before this house before now but obviously in

:38:50.:38:57.

relation to how things have developed we have just had a general

:38:58.:39:00.

election and as you can imagine as a consequence of that there are a

:39:01.:39:04.

number of policies that my department are currently dealing

:39:05.:39:11.

with and we have two particularly we have heard the previous debates and

:39:12.:39:15.

the challenges the Department has had to deal with as a consequence of

:39:16.:39:20.

the awful Grenfell fire, for example so we are in the process of looking

:39:21.:39:25.

at this but we do have two prioritise certain things in the

:39:26.:39:29.

department. In terms of whether it can be retrospective or not, once

:39:30.:39:34.

the redundancy modification order is updated, that is a question that

:39:35.:39:40.

will have to be answered through the review. So, I thank him for taking

:39:41.:39:46.

his time to raise this important matter, I would be grateful if you

:39:47.:39:50.

provide me with further details in relation to the constituent he

:39:51.:39:55.

mentioned and we will be taking this review forward in due course. The

:39:56.:40:05.

question is that this house to now adjourn. As many of that opinion say

:40:06.:40:09.

aye, the contrary, say no. The ayes have it. Order order!

:40:10.:41:32.

New laws start their journey in the House of Commons or the House of

:41:33.:41:37.

Lords. Both Houses of Parliament must agree on the final version of a

:41:38.:41:43.

bill before it can come into force. Let's say Bill starts

:41:44.:41:44.

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons including (estimated timings):

12.45pm-1.30pm statement on the humanitarian situation in Iraqi city of Mosul. 1.30pm-5.00pm general debate on the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry.