MP TALKS ABOUT GREN­FELL AT GLASTONBURY DE­BATE

MP TALKS ABOUT TRAGEDY AT GLASTONBURY FES­TI­VAL DE­BATE

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - QASIM PERACHA qasim.peracha@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @qasim­per­acha

HAYES and Har­ling­ton MP John McDon­nell told fes­ti­val go­ers at Glastonbury that fam­i­lies who died in the Gren­fell Tower fire were “mur­dered by po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions”.

The shadow chan­cel­lor was speak­ing at the Left Field tent on Sun­day when he made the com­ment dur­ing a de­bate ti­tled “Is Democ­racy Bro­ken?”

His com­ments come just days af­ter Metropoli­tan Po­lice con­firmed it is con­sid­er­ing man­slaugh­ter charges in its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the deaths at Gren­fell Tower.

Mr McDon­nell also dis­puted the known death toll of the dev­as­tat­ing fire, of­fi­cially at 79.

“Is democ­racy work­ing? It didn’t work if you were a fam­ily liv­ing on the 20th floor of Gren­fell Tower,” he said. “Those fam­i­lies, those in­di­vid­u­als – 79 so far and there will be more – were mur­dered by po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions that were taken over re­cent decades.

“The de­ci­sion not to build homes and to view housing as only for fi­nan­cial spec­u­la­tion rather than for meet­ing a ba­sic hu­man need made by politi­cians over decades mur­dered those fam­i­lies.

“The de­ci­sion to close fire sta­tions and to cut 10,000 firefighters and then to freeze their pay for over a decade con­tributed to those deaths in­evitably, and they were po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions.”

At least 79 peo­ple were killed dur­ing the fire at Gren­fell Tower in North Kens­ing­ton on June 14.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of Kens­ing­ton and Chelsea Coun­cil was forced to re­sign as the re­cent ren­o­va­tion of the coun­cil-owned build­ing comes un­der grow­ing scru­tiny.

He also de­clared that public own­er­ship of rail, water and en­ergy was vi­tal for the fu­ture of our econ­omy.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Cor­byn had ad­dressed crowds of tens of thou­sands at the fes­ti­val’s main Pyra­mid Stage the day be­fore.

Much of his short speech at the fes­ti­val was drowned out by cheers of “Oh Jeremy Cor­byn” to the tune of White Stripes’ Seven Na­tion Army.

Shadow chan­cel­lor John McDon­nell (left) dur­ing the de­bate with econ­o­mist Faiza Sha­heen and Guardian jour­nal­ist John Har­ris

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