Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry

Part of Humanitarian Situation in Mosul – in the House of Commons at 2:29 pm on 12th July 2017.

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Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice and Home Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 2:29 pm, 12th July 2017

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. I have many tower blocks in my constituency, and I was pleased that the City of Edinburgh Council, in very early course, had all elected representatives in to tell us what investigative steps it was taking to make sure these high-rise blocks were safe.

As I have indicated, Scottish building standards are devolved, and the Scottish Government have already set up a ministerial working group to make sure that our buildings are up to scratch and that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is satisfied with the standards in all local buildings. I am pleased to say that all 32 local authorities in Scotland have been able to confirm that none of the high-rise domestic properties they own use the type of cladding we understand was used on Grenfell Tower. However, the Scottish Government are not being complacent, and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will continue to carry out additional operational assurance visits to high-rise buildings. The Scottish Government will continue to monitor the situation in Scotland, gathering information from local authorities and taking a proactive and safety-first approach to this issue while we await information from the investigation into the fire in London.

The point I have sought to make in my contribution is that the way this inquiry is set up—the framing of the terms of reference, and the way in which the expert panel that will advise the chair is made up—and the funding that is made available to all relevant participants are vital for justice to be seen to be done, and we cannot cut corners on any of those things. There is widespread concern across the United Kingdom about the circumstances surrounding this fire, and all our constituents, but particularly the people local to this fire, need to be satisfied that justice is done and seen to be done.