Grenfell Tower - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:51 pm on 11th June 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour 6:51 pm, 11th June 2018

My Lords, I welcome the Statement and, in particular, its acknowledgement of the anger felt by many in the area and many survivors. It says that it is,

“essential that people living in buildings like Grenfell Tower are not only safe but they feel the state understands their lives and works for them”.

I do not know whether the Minister read the Observer yesterday—just to add to his reading list—but there were some very moving interviews in it, including with a survivor called Mouna El-Ogbani. One of the things she said really jumped out at me. She talked about,

“how we were treated by the government, as if we are nothing. … It’s just box-ticking for them. They don’t look at us as humans, only as numbers”.

That suggests that the people of Grenfell do not feel that the state understands their lives and still do not feel that the state is really working for them. I welcome what the Minister said about talking to people around Grenfell about the forthcoming Green Paper, but what will the Government do now to ensure that both Grenfell survivors and social tenants generally feel that the state understands their lives and works for them?