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Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:48 pm on 30th October 2019.

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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) 2:48 pm, 30th October 2019

That is an eminently sensible suggestion.

Others have mentioned Lakanal House. Grahame Morris pointed out that the tragedy at Grenfell was not the first time that compartmentation had failed. The Lakanal House fire, which resulted in the deaths of six people, with 15 residents and a firefighter injured, was the subject of a coroner’s inquest. As the hon. Gentleman said, the coroner sent a rule 43 letter to the then Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, on 28 March 2013, recommending that the Westminster Government should

“publish consolidated national guidance in relation to the ‘stay put’
principle and its interaction with the ‘get out and stay out’
policy, including how such guidance is disseminated to residents.”

Ministers promised to review that guidance with the Local Government Association. However, in the four years after the coroner’s letter, no guidance was produced. So the lessons that should have been learned from the Lakanal House fire, and that might have prevented at least the scale of this avoidable tragedy, were not learned. It is vital that this House is empowered to make sure that the recommendations of phase 2 are implemented promptly, because important recommendations have not been implemented promptly in the past.