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Ministers have ordered urgent checks on buildings where similar work has
Hello, and welcome to our look ahead to what the papers will be
With me are the writer and broadcaster, Mihir Bose,
and the former Pensions Minister, Baroness Altmann.
Good evening to you both. Good evening.
Tomorrow's front pages, starting with this.
There's only one story on tomorrow's front pages.
The Telegraph carries a haunting photograph
The Express reports people throwing their children out
of windows to save them from the blaze.
The i describes the tragedy as avoidable, saying that residents
had repeatedly raised concerns about fire safety.
The Metro warns that dozens of people are feared dead.
The Guardian focuses on the warnings from residents it says were ignored.
The Times reports that the blaze spread through the building
The demands to know how something like this could have happened.
And the Mirror carries a photograph of the burning building
So, we will begin. So much to talk about. This story rightly dominates
every single front page. The Mail. It has that terrifying image of the
tower, really, as an Inferno, asking how the hell could it happen, a
sober pun, because it does look like hell. It must have felt like hell.
This is such a tragedy. The first thing is to talk about the people
who have suffered, the families and loved ones, people in hospital,
people we don't know what happened to them. My heart goes out to them.
How could this happen in Britain? The indication is this is clearly a
tragedy that could have and should have been avoided. We need to know
why it wasn't and who is responsible and what steps were not taken that
should have been taken? In a country like ours, one of the most advanced
and developed, with our resources to make and health and safety
regulations. Yes. A fire destroys a whole tower block? That is what this
is suggesting. Sheer disbelief we can see this in London. In this day
and age and in our country, with all the effort of rules and regulations,
fire safety has been a strong point in all of the health and safety
regulations, and every tower block has to have a fire safety
inspection. It all has to pass. The residents seemed to have been told
it did and there was no fire risk. This is a Dickensian past. It should
have happened decades ago, not in 2017. The i. It spells out a little
bit more on the front page what you were saying about the concerns
raised. Tragic, horrific, avoidable. It has gone on to detail in the
other pages about concerns raised a long time ago in 2009. There was a
fire back then. Six people died. 20 people were injured. At that time,
the fire spread very quickly and there were questions spread about
how that happened. It seems nothing has moved on from there. In 2013,
there was an all-party Fire and Rescue review. Questions need to be
answered. The residents themselves have been raising questions and
warning that this sort of thing could happen. Regulations were
changed, but clearly whatever was done has not avoided this kind of
disaster. And that is the real sadness of all of this. You know?
People have spent a lot of time and a lot of money on assessing fire.
They had a policy for fire. Clearly it is not sufficient. It takes
something like this for us to learn that. The residents where indeed
warning it would take a catastrophe, a catastrophic event, as the put it,
before someone would take them seriously. Questions were raised
about the cladding acting like chimney, encouraging the fire to
spread, going between the cladding and the walls. It was meant to keep
people safe. They were told to stay put in their flat and they would be
rescued. That advice sounds almost lethal, an invitation to death. In
fact, those who ignored the advice save themselves. That is where you
got the headline "Deathtrap." Actually, the stay put advice would
be OK if they came and put the fire out. But if you were staying put,
and you were thinking you should get out, you could not, because the
smoke and flames engulfed everything. Yes. How could this
advice you given when the fire safety precautions were not there to
make the advice mean anything? What makes it more sad is the London Fire
Brigade apparently warned about this cladding. There are already concerns
about it. We have to stress that we don't know if this is because. We
don't know. -- the cause. There was also talk about recent gas pipes and
works, some new ones put in the stairwell with boilers and so on.
There may be other reasons, but we don't know. And this building is
30-40- 50 years old. People living in similar properties will be
worried today. We don't know much about it except that it moved very
fast in a matter of minutes. The fact you can talk about so many
potential reasons, these have all come out during the day, mostly from
residents. I just feel sorry for those residents who have been going
along and saying this is a risk, this is a risk, and have been told,
"No, it's fine." Obviously, no one wants to be proven right in these
circumstances. We have to make sure we understand what because he is. --
the cause is. The government will be looking at buildings with similar
cladding. I hope they put in place rescue plans in case this happens.
If you have safety standards and they don't work, what do they mean?
It destroys confidence! The whole thing is based in confidence. There
are fire safety standards and I believe when a fire comes I will be
safe. If they don't work, there is no way to feel secure. All of the
flats had these expensive fire doors put in. A lot of money was spent
trying to do this. Clearly, something has been going wrong.
Something has gone dreadfully wrong. Yes. We spent some time talking
about how it happened and concerns raised. Let us talk now about the
people. The Times. A picture of one of the people waving from their
window. I cannot imagine how desperate they may have been inside.
"Help, help!" A story of trapped parents throwing their children. One
was caught, apparently. That is an amazing story. Extraordinary.
Wonderful. The fact they had to do something like this! This echoes of
what happened in 9/11. Yes. That was a totally different thing. This, the
causes of this, they should have been avoided. We don't know if the
parents of the baby survived. They were thrown out of the ninth or
tenth floor. We don't know how many have died. The news at the moment is
12. We know roughly 600 people were in the block, don't we? We only know
about a certain number of deaths and people in hospital. Stories of
people calling loved ones. One had four children. When she got down...
Six when she was up and four when she was down. Another, her
12-year-old daughter, got separated somehow. They don't know where she
is. That they had a stable policy
because they only had a single staircase. If all of the residents
were trying to get out while the Fire Brigade were trying to get in,
then the fire could not be extinguished. Stapleton is a
widespread policy. The Fire Brigade has to be able to get in to put any
fire out. With one stairwell, it is common to stay tell people to stay
in their flat if their flat is not on fire, to allow emergency services
to work. Clearly that was not the right advice here. The fire doors
clearly did not work. The blaze spread so quickly. That is the
thing. That the blaze spread quickly. They may have withstood the
fire but they were overcome by smoke, we do not know. Continuing on
to the Metro. Every front page has this terrible, terrible photograph
on it. The Metro has in the foreground one of the many brave
firefighters. The heroes. They are the ones, really, we should
acknowledge. They do what they do all their time and that picture sums
it up. There he is, fighting the fire but you can feel the strain.
Understandable he should be feeling strain but is still doing this job
in trying to rescue people. Some firefighters say this is the worst
thing they have ever seen. There have been in the service for decades
and they have not seen anything quite like this. We have not seen
anything like this. This is a towering Inferno, movies like that.
What you think is may believe that this is a real-life tragedy. They do
an amazing job day in and day out. Unfortunately, recently, they have
had a lot to cope with. Not just the firefighters, of course. They have
all stepped up to the mark and done what they are supposed to do and we
rely on them that they really did come through and they have been
there to help just as we would want them to. We do not often
acknowledged that, we do not highlight what happened with Borough
market, how quickly rescue services were there. The point has been made
with firefighters in particular is that while everyone else is fleeing
danger, they are going into it and it must have been terrifying. They
were going up the floors and searching all the flats. They got to
the 19th or of the 24 building. -- 24 floor building. They are trained
and they are professional, they are dedicated and they are there for us.
I can not pay enough tribute to them, they really do the most
magnificent work. The unsung heroes, really. It is comforting that one
sector of our society does work and work well stop at moments like this
it's good to know that the rescue services work and that is some
comfort in the tragedy. There will be stories coming out highlighting
that. And they will have saved many people. It is terrible for those
they did not save that they will have saved a large number of people
by being there and guiding them to safety. We speak about people
crawling around in the dark because they could not see and when they
were trying to reach the stairs and the emergency services were guiding
them through. Let's mention the community coming together and
donating loads of things. You had the priest talking about it earlier.
That shows humanity. That is something that we should be proud
of. Britain does pull together in an emergency. We have always pulled
together and supported each other in difficult times. People are still
turning up with blankets and food and... Offers of accommodation,
whatever it is, British people really do have that great spirit of
wanting to help when people are in trouble. One more front page on this
story, the Guardian. It has a different angle on that image that
equally stark. It talks, amongst other things, about the families who
are still searching for people who are missing. We touched on that
slightly but it talks about some individuals, particularly, a
12-year-old girl, a family with three children, an 82-year-old man.
Yes stop yes. The 82-year-old man who could not quite walked out of
the lights and said he would stay where he was stop they don't know
where he is now. One cannot imagine the panic and the fear that must
have been going through. At the time. Those people who got out, some
of them did get out with elderly relatives. They must feel so
grateful that they managed to escape. Others may have stayed
behind to look after people. They did not want to leave a relative who
was disabled, whatever. Who could not manage the stairs. One was in
the lifts... I think the 82-year-old had gone down one for the lift and
was told to get out because, obviously, the lift will not be
saved in this situation. -- says in this situation, but he could not
handle the stairs. They do not know what happened to him. The agony will
go on. We don't know for how long, before they find their loved ones.
Let's hope there are some happy and good stories that some people will
turn up, some of the missing. It does happen that somebody runs away
from a tragedy like this and then you find that they are actually OK,
but maybe they did not take their mobile with them which is why they
are not answering. Let us hope we hear some of that. Turning now to
work couple of other stories, one of which in other times would have been
much bigger news and that is the resignation of the Liberal them a
great leader Kim Farren. What do you make of this story? Were you
surprised? -- Tim Farron. It was clearly hoping to create a third
way. Although their seats increased, it is not much of a wave, it is
hardly a ripple in the pond full doc the reason he gave is that you
cannot be a man of faith and lead a party. I find that extraordinary.
Were you convinced by that reasoning? No. Now I was not stop he
can say that he personally would not believe in gay marriage but I will
support anybody, I will not have a law that makes gay marriage illegal.
So a distinction between personal faith and political leanings. He
seemed to think there is a contradiction in that, suggested
that the media made a contradiction when, actually, he should have
resolve the contradiction himself. He should have said these are the
personal beliefs, these are the party beliefs and I will always
support the party policy. More sympathetic? I feel very sad that
this is somebody who really does have strong faith and felt that he
could not marry the face, if you excuse the expression, with being a
political leader. He came under enormous pressure and unfairly so at
the beginning of the campaign when everybody was forcing him to talk
about what he thinks of gay marriage. I agree with you. He
probably did not handle that as well as he could have but it was
relentless pressure that took away from really important issues of
policy and what this party stood for. This party does support gay
marriage. He was the leader of the party, as you say, this personal
believes may be different but he would not have imposed those beliefs
on other people. What he was asked was this own personal belief. They
kept on and on asking him. He did not make the distinction very clear.
He shied away from it but I think that was the issue. He shied away
from saying that he has a personal belief and a party policy and there
is no contradiction because I have come out in politics to do certain
things and I am part of a party that will support these policies, fine. I
will carry them out. He did not do that well enough. All he said was
that it does not want to talk about it. Because he was being criticised
for this personal belief. That is what was happening. When he was
being interviewed he was being criticised for being, if you like,
all, for himself, not willing to countenance the idea that he would
accept a gay marriage. That was the problem. In a way, the line of
questioning, instead of him trying to ride above it are the other
leaders may have done and they sorry, that is not relevant, I am
here as leader of the Liberal Democrats and these are policies,
this is what we stand for. This own beliefs are this own issues, enough.
That is depressing if a man or a woman of AIDS cannot become a
political leader because the political party has views contrary
to that person's religious views. We have come to a very depressing
stage. That's what he was saying in this speech today and that is why I
have see with him because he clearly felt that. He may be a bit more
sceptical and I may be a bit naive but I think he really did feel that
he could not come any longer, be in a position. If they had gotten 50
seats he would not have resigned... Thank you both very much. That is if
the papers tonight. You can see the front pages of the papers online on
the BBC News website, all there for you seven days a week. If you mist
the programme any evening you can watch it later Ron on the BBC
iPlayer a full thank you very