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tv   Victoria Derbyshire  BBC News  June 22, 2017 9:00am-11:00am BST

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hello, it's thursday, it's 9 o'clock, i'm joanna gosling, welcome to the programme. forced to resign — the boss of kensington and chelsea council nicholas holgate steps down amid criticism over the response to the grenfell tower fire — he says he was told to leave by the government. labour says it was the right thing to do. he had to go, his council went awol in the days after this terrible fire at the time when the victims, survivors, whose family still looking for their family members who were missing, needed help on the ground. more on that to come. plus we will have a report on the number of other tower blocks who have the same cladding as grenfell tower. also on the programme...a warning to parents over the latest chat app aimed at teenagers our reporter was shown guns and pornography. i am on an app called monkey, where i can basically talk to strangers around the world for 10
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seconds , i've heard people lying about their age, people have made sexual and offensive remarks to me and i've even been shown hard core porn by kids in a classroom. that'll is tory coming up around 9:15am. —— that full story. prince harry tells us magazine newsweek that none of the royals really wants to be king or queen, but they act from duty. he also criticises the decision to make him walk behind his mother's coffin. we'll be speaking to the reporter who interviewed him over the course of a year. hello... welcome to the programme, we're live until 11 this morning. do get in touch if your children have stumbled across inappropriate content online or if you have views on any of the stories we're talking about. use the hashtag victoria live and if you text, you will be charged at the standard network rate. our top story today...the chief executive of kensington and chelsea
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borough council says he has been forced to resign over the response to the fire at grenfell tower. the government has denied forcing the resignation of chief executive — nicholas holgate, who said he had been forced to quit by the communities secretary, sajid javid. the leader of the council nicholas paget—brown also appeared to distance himself from the dismissal. it leaves it unclear who actually sought mr holgate‘s resignation. tom burridge reports. how was this possible? will people be held to account? and why, as the prime minister herself has now admitted, was the response following the fire inadequate? the support on the ground for families in the initial hours following the fire was not good enough. people were left without belongings, without roofs over their heads, without even basic information about what had happened and what they should do and where they could seek help. that was a failure of the state, local and national, to help people
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when they needed it most. as prime minister, i apologise for that failure. that apology after so much anger in the days following the fire. some of it directed at the government, some at the local council. now the chief executive of kensington and chelsea council says the government has forced him to resign. in a statement, nicholas holgate said despite wanting to stay in the job in very challenging circumstances, he risked becoming a distraction. he said his team had always worked with the interests of residents at heart. new flats have now been allocated for survivors of the fire. so far, victims have received some £700,000 from the government. but a conservative government and council are still under pressure. were warnings ignored? why wasn't more done to improve fire
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safety in tower blocks before a tragedy on this scale could happen? tom is here with me, is there any clarity on why he has gone? no, com plete clarity on why he has gone? no, complete confusion this morning, this is the statement we got around midnight last night, i am in, this is the statement we got around midnight last night, iam in, yes, working this morning, this is the exact wording so people cannot accuse us exact wording so people cannot accuse us of misreading it or twisting it, he said this that sergey abbey, although he did not name him specifically required the leader of the council to seek my resignation so he's saying he was pushed by the government. then we are getting a statement from the government this morning from the department that sergey javi ros saying actually it wasn't ours, that's a matter for local council, the resignations of local councillors, and we have the leader of the council a conservative
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leader, nick javad —— of the council a conservative leader, nickjavad —— nick nicholas paget brown, and he said nicholas holgate was doing a greatjob and we didn't want him to leave. we haven't heard directly from sajid javiid. the only people saying that directly is labour. let's hearfrom the only people saying that directly is labour. let's hear from john healey. he had to go, his council went awol in the days after this terrible fire at the time when the victims, survivors, whose family still looking for their family members who were missing, needed help on the ground. and they needed someone to reassure them, coordinated the relief effort, we didn't see anyone on the ground in the days after the fire. he had to go. it seems the government is
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getting its act together. you have the prime minister in the commons yesterday saying hands up, some things went wrong at a national and local level, but then, clearly, the government strategy is all hands to the deck, they have this special task force for grenfell tower 24—hour phone lines, and they have handed out almost £600,000 to victims, survivors, relatives, people affected, 65 new—build flats allocated so far, most people's housing requirements already assessed, some still to go, but they say that main goal of rehousing people locally within the borough will happen soon. thank you so much. the prime minister is due to give a statement in the commons later this morning on the grenfell tower block fire. we'll bring that to you live. and just after ten o'clock, our reporterjim reid has been looking into tower blocks — thought to use the same type of cladding as grenfell. let's catch up with the rest of the
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news. annita mcveigh is in the bbc newsroom with a summary of the rest of the days news. theresa may is expected to offer certainty to eu nationals living in the uk when she meets with european leaders in brussels later. it will be the prime minister's first encounter with the other 27—leaders since she lost her parliamentary majority and formal negotiations to leave the eu began. 0ur political correspondent ben wright reports. it was a queen's speech dominated by brexit. my government's priority is to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the european union. with britain set to leave the eu by march 2019 there is a vast amount of law to pass by a government that does not have a majority in the house of commons. and today, theresa may heads to brussels for the first time since she lost her commons majority in the general election. brexit negotiations began on monday and one of the big sticking points is how to secure the status of the more than 3 million
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eu nationals living in the uk and the 900,000 britons living overseas. this evening, theresa may will set out her vision to the leaders of the other 27 member states in brussels, something she refused to be drawn on during the election campaign. labour says these rights should be guaranteed immediately. how this early part of the negotiation goes could be crucial in setting the tone for the rest of the brexit talks. ben wright, bbc news, westminster. the government is to use money from its aid budget in an attempt to reduce the flow of migrants from africa across the mediterranean into europe. people who have started on the journey will be encouraged to return home; there will also be help for those in need. the un says seventy thousand have made thatjourney so far this year — and nineteen hundred have died. two men have died after a crane
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collapsed at a building site in crewe. another man believed to be the crane driver is in hospital with serious injuries that aren't thought to be life—threatening. the occu pa nts of a to be life—threatening. the occupants of a house damaged by the falling crane went injured. the duke of edinburgh has spent a second night in hospital as a precautionary measure after being admitted with an infection arising from a pre—existing condition. buckingham palace says prince phillip who's 96 remains in good spirits and is up and about inside the king edward vii hospital. he missed the state opening of parliament yesterday, his place was taken by the prince of wales. prince harry has suggested no wonder no royal family wants to take over from the wonder no royal family wants to take overfrom the queen. in an interview with newsweek he said is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? i don't think so but we will carry out our duties at the right time. he also criticises the right time. he also criticises the decision for him to walk a long way behind his mother's coffin at
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herfuneral in 1997. way behind his mother's coffin at her funeral in 1997. many of the uk's top universities have failed to secure a gold award in teaching standards. of those who took part in the eight were given a gold rating. some of those ranked silver and bronze have questioned the criteria used in the scheme. the iraqi and us military says so—called islamic state militants have —— blown up a great mosque in mosul. it's for the leader of islamic state made his only public appearance after proclaiming a new caliphate three yea rs proclaiming a new caliphate three years ago. the iraqi prime minister says blowing up the building is an admission of defeat byjihadist. a well—known lifestyle blogger in france has been killed by an exploding cream dispenser. rebecca burke's death was announced in what herfamily, domestic burke's death was announced in what her family, domestic accident, burke's death was announced in what herfamily, domestic accident, the did these the —— the device was believed to have exploded and struck
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her chest, pension media reporting she died of cardiac arrest despite receiving medical attention. that's the latest news. more at 9:30am. joanna. thank you. get in touch with us, we joanna. thank you. get in touch with us, we are joanna. thank you. get in touch with us, we are going to be talking about the monkey app chat, there are concerns there may be inappropriate content on it and certainly our reporter who tried it but was exposed to some quite shocking things when she tried it. we'd love to know if it's something you use or you are concerned about what your kids are doing. whether you think there are enough controls. get in touch. text is charged at the standard network rate. let's catch up standard network rate. let's catch up with all the sport. we note the lions starting at 15 for the first test against new zealand. what kind of the team has been picked? and attacking one which i think will please purists. peter 0'mahony captaining the side, sam warburton
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starting on the bench. 0wen farrell will start at fly half, he said after picking up an injury earlier in the tour. the backs, the interesting selection, elliot daly, ian williams and anthony watson select that. there is the captain, that selection in the back by warren gatland suggesting he would try to attack and look to score tries against the world champions. that will please those who will be excited to see him adopting the strategy. let's hear from excited to see him adopting the strategy. let's hearfrom him. excited to see him adopting the strategy. let's hear from him. you see we picked the team on form and layers that are probably, be a lot of differences from the start of the tour to now in terms of what people speculated the side would be and i think the messages we have tried to deliver our consistent from us, now that 23 have been selected, we are pretty excited. england's cricketers showing some form yesterday, how was
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that different to the champions trophy display? england against south africa, both sides struggling a little bit in the recent champions trophy but england, i think, delighted to get off to a winning start in the t 20s, jonny bairstow scoring 60 not out, duty impressive, england winning by nine wickets, restricting south africa 242—3, england going on to win with 33 balls to spare. real improvement for england, they played well in the champions trophy but that was a tournament they were expecting to win, they'll be pleased they got off toa win, they'll be pleased they got off to a winning start as they look to continue to build a reputation as an improving side in the shorter formats of the game. finally, ladies day at arscott? absolutely, needs no introduction, expect hats and high fashion, as you can imagine. very strict dress code as you can imagine
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in the royal enclosure for women in particular, birds and dresses above the knee, no fascinator is, that is very important, he did listen the dress code. because of the hot weather, cuba and conditions, expect it to stay dry and for gentlemen and the royal enclosure, top hats must be black or grey, west coates and morning suit is the dress of choice. as far as the racing today, the 4:20pm, the gold cup, the signature race. it dates back to 1807 and if anyone wants a flutter, you have to say, the favourite today, 0rder anyone wants a flutter, you have to say, the favourite today, order of st george trained by aidan 0'brien who has a huge reputation in this race, winning it seven times previously, that is probably for your money wants to go.|j previously, that is probably for your money wants to go. i will see about that. i think i may have misheard but i think you might have heard in the royal enclosure it's
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obligatory that dresses and skirts arejust obligatory that dresses and skirts are just above the knee... just above the knee. i wasn't sure how for —— short they were forcing people to work. i was worried about the queen. thank you! head teachers and parents have been warned that a new chapter in the teenagers could expose them to extras are conversations. monkey app allows people to be the chat from strangers across the world ten seconds with the option of talking for longer. any child 13 can sign up, we have censored the film we are about to show you but covers graphic themes you may not want to watch. that lasts about three minutes. the makers of the app says safety is the primary concern which is why the encourage users to read and follow the community guidelines and say inappropriate behaviour is rare. 0ur reporter amber had reports. hey, beautiful.
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why can't i see you? why can't you see me? you look older than 21. i'm 25. i am on an app called monkey where i can basically talk to strangers around the world for ten seconds. i've heard people lying about their age, people have made sexual and offensive remarks to me, and i've even been shown hardcore porn by kids in a classroom. are you 36?
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no. how old are you? 17. i signed up for this app as my mid—20s self, and i was connected to a whole array of people, including many men who were masturbating down the camera. it's incredibly inappropriate content on an app that is aimed at over—13s. any child over the age of 13 can sign up for this app, and it claims to match you with people who are a similar age to you, although there really doesn't seem to be many checks in place. we managed to sign up on another
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phone as a 13—year—old girl and spoke to kids around the world, including some here in uk playgrounds. monkey say they rely on other users to report it if people are lying about their age or they have acted inappropriately. they say they will review the case and if you have broken the rules, they will ban you from the app. but despite all these measures in place, it does appear that anything goes. well, the makers of the app declined our request for an interview but they said safety is their primary concern.
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they added while inappropriate behaviour is rare, it can happen and we request that users report it to us by tapping the policeman icon so we may ban users who have violated our community guidelines. we look forward to keeping monkey fun and safe for young people all over the globe to connect. let's speak now to lorin lafave, who founded the breck foundation, after her 14—year—old son was mudrered, after being groomed online, megan kyrionymou, who is a youth worker, and lisa mccrindle from nspcc. welcome all of you. lauren, you actually have heard about this app and decided to go on it with your daughter to see what it was about. as an experiment, to see what is going on out there because of the work we do with the foundation and i was shocked. what did you find?
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immediately there was a lot of crude sexualise languid and gestures, most of them, boys and men, were older, and they were in bed, and were mass debating, and we did see a venus. she is 15 and a half. it is something she might come across on her own but i was glad i was sitting next to her. did she go on with her real age because under the guidelines of her app, she should not be connecting with adults. guidelines of her app, she should not be connecting with adultsm just came up. they all said they we re just came up. they all said they were teenagers but there were men who looked like they were in their high 20s. but they were very crude, andi high 20s. but they were very crude, and ijust high 20s. but they were very crude, and i just wonder what sort of value system to the people using this app have, because they called her ugly, it was like we have just heard, asking her to do things. using the f word. there was nothing nice about it. i could see it was exciting and
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an interesting thing to do. in what way? because every ten seconds you get to see a surprise guest. so it is not all like that, you can get some nice surprises. and some people don't show theirface some nice surprises. and some people don't show their face at all, and then you are just don't show their face at all, and then you arejust like, don't show their face at all, and then you are just like, it is kind of boring. my favourite, it look like a young guy who had a great voices sang a song for her, and i think that is most more dangerous, because it was not showing his face, but he is singing a song that every girl, he didn't know my daughter yet. basically getting at those heartstrings, may be building a relationship and that was worrying. megan, you worked with kids as a youth worker, what have they said to youth worker, what have they said to you about this app? first of all they were showing me because they thought it was quite funny, and every other person that i did link in with, they were masturbating to these young people. and again, was this adults were saying they were younger and getting connected to kids? yes, the app says between the
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ages of 13 and 19, and when adults are logging in, they are putting in are logging in, they are putting in a different age, pretending to be a 17—year—old from a different country, and then when you see them, they are a grown adult with full facial hair. lisa, the makers of the app say if people are doing that it is very easy to get rid of them because there is a policeman i can, you reported and they get blocked. but that is after the event has happened, after the child has already been exposed to inappropriate content or perhaps started that connection with a person, and what is concerning is that you can then take that connection to another app like snapchat, so it is notjust restricted to ten seconds. that child has already seen inappropriate content, may have already made contact and followed up on that content, and we know that groomers can work very quickly to establish that initial relationship and take that initial relationship and take that contact the maybe further online abuse, but also potentially
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making contact abuse subsequently. so we are really concerned about this and what we would like to see is that rather than waiting for after the event has happened, that we build safeguards into the internet. howdy you do that, though? as with any app you have to put in details but it is very easy to put fa ke details but it is very easy to put fake details. we have commitment to age verification, which needs to be robust, not that you just put in the age want to be. how can age verification be effective? it would mean that where it is restricting children to contacting children, that would be the case. in a practical sense, how does that happen? without getting into the technical detail, there are third—party ways of establishing an age verification process. it can easily be done? it can be done, it has been agreed by the government that will be very important, but then we need a regulator to make
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sure that the apps are applying that. those internet companies and social network sites have to be held to account so if they are failing to protect children in this way, they are held to account and that is built in. we can also build in some minimal standards, so that after having the conversation after the app having the conversation after the app is already out there, we have this conversation and minimum standards and protection are built into them. lauren, the creator of the app say that it was designed by teams, and they view their —— by teenagers. sometimes teenagers are embarrassed to tell their real—world friend something that an intimate friend something that an intimate friend can help with. you have been through a horrendous situation, in that your son, breck, was groomed by somebody online, he thought it was a friend online, and obviouslyjust with terrible consequences for all of you. how do you view the idea of
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online friends? i think in this case, the way that app is set up, it is too easy for people to make a game of it. there are not to be people who want to meet friends, they want to have a laugh, see how rude they can be and get away with it. it will be up to the application makers, so that if anyone is blocked or reported they will act on that. maybe the at is could get a bit cleaner maybe the at is could get a bit clea ner after maybe the at is could get a bit cleaner after time —— may be the app could get a bit cleaner after time, but it is too easy to act inappropriately when no one is in that room with you guiding you are making sure you are doing the right thing. what scares me is when you look down at the terms and conditions, there are a lot of helplines for someone who might be in crisis or need help. that is great but what made me think is if a child is in crisis, they go on there and they meet someone who doesn't ca re and they meet someone who doesn't care about them, you know, that could be even worse for them. for asking them to do self harm,
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something sexual they are not ready for. so the fact that you have to put all of these links on to keep them safe reminds me that the reason they might be going on there in the first places because they are vulnerable and looking for some of help. so it would be safer if they would go directly to the helplines, rather than find them on the bottom of this app, which i don't think children would find, it was only because i was searching it out. thank you, and let us know your thoughts. if you have any experience that you want to share. coming up... finding a new home for the dale youth boxing club — destroyed in last week's fire at grenfell tower. it's helped nurture dozens of champions at all levels, including olympic gold medal winner james degale and current world champion, george groves. next this morning — prince harry has told a us magazine that no—one in the royal family wants to be king or queen, adding that "we are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people".
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in an interview with newsweek, the prince also criticises the decision for him to follow princess diana's coffin at herfuneral procession in 1997, a week after she died in a car crash. he was only 12 years old. with me is angela levin — she's the award—winning journalist who interviewed prince harry for newsweek. talking to him over the past year for newsweek. so you had amazing access to prince harry. yes, the whole piece took me about a year to do. a while to get them to agree. there were various places he would offer me where he was going and i would say yes please, that's lovely. ididn't would say yes please, that's lovely. i didn't actually talk to him personally, i was one of people who we re personally, i was one of people who were wandering around and listening to what he was saying. every now and then he would give me a very quick look to tell me that he knew i was there. so you were sort of sizing
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each other up at that stage? very much so, exactly right, because my aim was always to get a conversation with him, which is very, very rare. and i knew i had to present myself in the best possible way. so it sounds like then, obviously when you got to that conversation, there was a level of trust, because it sounds like he was pretty open. he was pretty open. it took me a while. i had been doing interviewing for a very long time. as you know, you wait for the opportunity and you ask the question. i met him twice. at the question. i met him twice. at the end of the first one, which was the end of the first one, which was the longest one, he did say, this is on the record, so i have felt totally a ble on the record, so i have felt totally able to use it. i came out of there and i leapt in the air because i thought, this is good stuff. this is the one he said about no one wants to be king or queen.
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and also about walking behind his mother's coughlin, which actually if somebody imagines that to a 12—year—old who is very sensitive is the most horrific thing to do in public —— about his mother's tampa. these are the pictures. he was a 12—year—old boy, and as you say, you sort of let you in now to those private thoughts the has about that moment. do you know, i think it is probably something that happens in retrospect, because when you are 12 you don't want to do something but you don't want to do something but you know you have two, everybody tells you around you you have to. you are not in a good state, so you do that. but as he probably went through his teenage years, he would probably think, hello, this is not right, i didn't want to do that. and i think when he went through his bad patch in his 20s, that came up even more. it had just stayed down there. you look at his face, it is
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absolutely in anguish, and he is holding his hands behind his back, obviously feeling totally alone and devastated, watching something that is horrific for any child to see, really, their parent's coffin. so how much did he say around this? does he feel that it did make things worse of the fact he was thrust into the limelight in that way so quickly? i think the whole thing was a build—up of not having his mother, and the difficulties that ensued. whatever diana's issues were, and the public did find some of it unappealing, he was her son. he said she always made everything fun, she was always very emotional, she loved him a great deal and theyjust loved being with her. she made them laugh, andi being with her. she made them laugh, and i think a mother who makes you laugh and gives you lots of love is a good thing. and she had flaws, but they loved her as her mother and harry has similar characteristics.
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he is very charismatic. i watched him anywhere, and he had people eating out of his hand very, very quickly. in making the criticism of the decision, did he pointed any word in particular? no, he didn't, and i didn't want to push on because i thought that was an incredible comment to say and if i pushed him he might have retreated, you know, you get something quite precious and you get something quite precious and you hold onto it as it is. and he also said, but he doesn't believe anybody wants to be king or queen, they do it out of duty.|j anybody wants to be king or queen, they do it out of duty. i think that is because they both want to be ordinary which they cannot be, this whole touchy, really, new age royal family want to have a private life, they are not like the queen who they absolutely marvel at, she is totally dedicated to them but the thing was, when she was much younger and her children were much younger she would go and see the horses first then she
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came back from a royal visit rather than her children and they have missed out on so it's come down to the next generation and they want to be able to do things, to do what they can do, and that's why they wa nt to they can do, and that's why they want to and they tried to remodel the monarchy when william takes over after prince charles and make it a much more open, feeley type of thing, they really get involved, for insta nce thing, they really get involved, for instance in charity. they don't want their namejust instance in charity. they don't want their name just on the top of the page and turn out once a year, they wa nt to page and turn out once a year, they want to get involved, all this talk about mental health which has been incredibly powerful, they have given of themselves which is absolutely extraordinary. end of a stiff upper lip, i don't know quite whether that's a good thing or not but that's a good thing or not but that's what they're after. when he's talking about no one wanting to be king or queen is he effectively saying prince charles is the last of that generation that has that duty. no, i don't think so, i think they
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have a tremendous sense of duty, prince harry in particular was very keen on saying they do believe in the monarchy, they think it's an enormously good institution, it's just that the restrictions and what they cannot do and how they have to behave, you want to remodel. i don't think for a second they wouldn't ta ke think for a second they wouldn't take up the responsibility. angela, thank you. well done for securing that and getting such an insight. thank you. we can just show you some pictures of the hospital, prince philip being treated, we had news yesterday he had been taken into hospitalfor yesterday he had been taken into hospital for routine tests, we were told yesterday, we understand he may be leaving that hospital now this morning. a statement from buckingham palace yesterday said the prince had been taken in, he stepped down from royal duties earlier this year. he
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is now in his 90s and has been taking it easier but he is 96, actually, taken to hospital on tuesday evening in what the palace described as a precautionary measure. they have said he is in good spirits in hospital, we gather he is going to be leaving shortly. we will keep our eyes across that and keep you updated. still to come... the prime minister is due to make a statement on the grenfell tower fire. and also... how a youth boxing club, its gym destroyed in the flames at grenfell tower, is planning to fight back after the fire. here's annita in the bbc newsroom with a summary of todays news. thank you, joanna and good morning. the government has denied forcing the resignation of the chief
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executive of kensington and chelsea borough council. the chief executive of kensington and chelsea borough council says he has been forced to resign over the response to the fire at grenfell tower. the leader of the council nicholas paget—brown also appeared to distance himself from the dismissal. theresa may will head to brussels today to raise the issue of future rights of eu citizens living in britain, a day after the queen's speech which was dominated by brexit. it will be the prime minister's first encounter with the other 27—leaders since she lost her parliamentary majority and formal negotiations to leave the european union began. the foreign secretary borisjohnson has said mrs may will make a generous offer, and he hoped the rest of the eu would respond ina similarspirit. the government is to use money from its aid budget in an attempt to reduce the flow of migrants from africa across the mediterranean into europe. people who have started on the journey will be encouraged to return home; there will also be help for those in need. the un says seventy thousand have made thatjourney so far this year — and nineteen hundred have died. two men have died after a crane collapsed at a building site in crewe. another man, who is believed to be the crane driver, is in hospital with serious injuries
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that aren't thought to be life—threatening. the occupants of a house damaged by the falling crane were not injured. we are now going to hear from theresa may in the house of commons. i felt that was essential to bring this to the attention of the house this to the attention of the house this morning. mr speaker, what happened in the early hours of last wednesday was one of the most open —— unimaginable tragedy is our country has seen recently. as of this morning 79 people are confirmed dead or listed as missing presumed dead or listed as missing presumed dead and with work on going to recover the bodies sadly the death toll may rise further. we already know many children are among the dead and that in some cases whole families perished. and those who survived have lost loved ones, friends, neighbours and in many cases everything they own. mr speaker, it should never have happened. in a feud moments i will say how we are going to discover why
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it did but as i said yesterday, that initial failure it did but as i said yesterday, that initialfailure was then it did but as i said yesterday, that initial failure was then compounded either fact that the support on the ground in the initial hours was not good enough. as prime minister i have apologised for that second failure and taken responsibility for doing what we can to put it right. 0n doing what we can to put it right. on my first visit to north kensington i met with emergency services, these extra ordinary men and women put their lives on the line in an effort to save others and by first responsibility was to check they had everything they needed. i then visited chelsea and westminster hospital, and met some of the most seriously injured survivors. it was from that experience i decided we had to have an emergency fund, i also met a group of residents in kensington who i invited to downing street last weekend, i returned to kensington last night to hear directly from them about the progress we are making. mr speaker of what became clear very quickly is that the royal borough of kensington and chelsea could not cope and it is
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right that the chief executive 0fficer right that the chief executive officer has now resigned. it is also why i said up the grenfell tower recovery task force which i had in sharing personally. but this is not just about the steps we take in the first few weeks, it's about a lasting commitment that we are making to supporting the families affected long after the television cameras have gone. so let me set out in detail but the —— steps we are taking to support the victims and rehouse those who lost their homes. 0n rehouse those who lost their homes. on friday morning the government established a central command centre under the leadership ofjohn barrow dale, the chief executive of the city of london and former lead for london local government on resilience and elmer kelly, chief executive of the london borough of southwark. i want to thankjohn and his team for all the work they do andi his team for all the work they do and i want a picture due to the fantastic response from london borough is including a number of chief executives sue barker curtly working at the command centre as well as the mayor of london and leading figures from a number of
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councils outside london. i want to thank the army of volunteers who stepped in to provide shelter, sustenance, comfort and practical support. and i want to thank my community secretary and the ministers for housing and planning, the ministerfor london ministers for housing and planning, the minister for london and the minister for the minister for london and the ministerfor policing the minister for london and the minister for policing and the fire service for the work they've been doing. mr speaker there are currently around 600 people working on the site and in the immediate area who are working to provide support to defect is. the westway sports centre has been transformed into a community hub staffed by a0 officials from six government departments, making sure people have essential documents like driving licences and passports that are fundamental to carrying on with their lives. they've also been joined by experts from organisations such as transport for london, citizens advice and the red cross, nhs mental health staff, nurses, and ed gp, anyone affected by the blaze can walk in and access support they
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need and so far there have been almost 700 visits to the centre. the centre on the ground work is supplemented by a victim support unit whose emergency helpline provides a single point of contact for that is the need to do with one double government services in the wa ke double government services in the wake of the disaster. each family whose home was destroyed as received and is receiving a 5000 down payment from the emergency fund so they can buy food, clothes and other essentials and outreach workers are seeking to make sure everyone gets money they are entitled to. we are also paying all additional adults over 60 in these hassles by the hundred pounds in cash, other cash payments are being paid out by the council on a discretionary basis, for example to those whose home has been severely impacted but not permanently destroyed. as of midday on wednesday we had made payments of over £700,000. it is absolutely essential mr speaker that people understand they can keep the money they receive. these grants are not loa ns they receive. these grants are not loans and they will not expect to a
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single penny. neither are they waiving any legal rights as a result of except this financial health. the payments will be disregarded for means payments will be disregarded for m ea ns tested payments will be disregarded for means tested welfare benefits, payments, so no one in receipt of benefits will see their benefits cut if they accept emergency support. and i would like to reassure people that we will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry a greater checks on those involved or on those providing vital information to identify victims or those assisting with the criminal investigation. we will make sure all victims respect of their immigration status will be able to access the services they need including health ca re services they need including health care and accommodation. in terms of local schools, kensington aldridge academy, the school next door to the tower remains closed however all its pupils have been accommodated at other schools in the area. the department for education is working with the authorities to ensure children sitting their gcses receive
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an appropriate exam dispensation and specialist counselling has been offered to local school children and teachers affect that by the fire. turning to rehousing, 151 homes were destroyed in the fire, most in the tower itself but also several in the immediate vicinity. all those who have lost their homes have been offered emergency hotel accommodation and all will be offered rehousing within three weeks. already 16a suitable properties have identified and they are being checked and made ready for people to move into. in the longer term everyone who sold was destroyed for the guaranteed a new home on the same terms as the one they lost. 68 of those will be in a brand—new low—rise block that has just been built by arkley homes, the developer has generously offered to turn over the entire block at cost price, contractors are on site now working 2a- contractors are on site now working 2a — seven so that the first families can move in the summer. but
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the wider cord and more are —— more homes were damaged by smoke or water or have lost gas, heating or hot water, emergency hotel accommodation is available for anyone who does not wa nt to is available for anyone who does not want to remain in a damaged property and over 100 hotel rooms have already been provided. we are also putting in place practical support to help accelerate necessary repairs and yesterday drew on expertise from the army to assist with this. some survivors said they want to leave the local area and we will of course support that and help them find a home elsewhere. but i want to be absolutely clear, nobody is being forced to move software they don't wa nt to forced to move software they don't want to go. and if any honourable member thinks they know of anyone being treated in this way, they should contact my office in downing street with the details. mr speaker, as the scale of the tragedy became clear we quickly decided there had to be an independent public inquiry. asi to be an independent public inquiry. as i said to the house yesterday it will be chaired by a judge to get to
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the truth about what happened and who was responsible. and to provide justice for the victims and their families who suffered so terribly. all those with an interest including survivors and fit is families will be consulted about the terms of reference and we will pay for legal representation for those affected. listing two survivors last night it also became clear that they want support to come together as a group to have their voices heard and the government will play its part in helping them to do so. the stress speakerfor too long helping them to do so. the stress speaker for too long residence at an overlooked and it bought, we will ensure they are involved in every step of this process. no stone will be left unturned in this inquiry and for any guilty party, there will be no fur to hide. i'm also clear we cannot wait for ages to learn the immediate lessons, and so i expect chair of the immediate lessons, and so i expect chairof the inquiry immediate lessons, and so i expect chair of the inquiry will want to produce an interim report as early as possible. mr speaker and no many others living in tall residential
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buildings will have concerns about their safety after what happened at g re nfell tower. their safety after what happened at grenfell tower. all social landlords have been in strut to carry out additional fire safety checks on tower blocks and ensure the appropriate safety response measures are in place of this is being done in crop and local fire and rescue services. we also taken steps to make private landlords aware and made are checking facilities available to them for free. the house should of course be careful and speculating what caused this fire, but as a precaution, the government has arranged to test cladding in all relevant tower blocks. mr speaker, shortly before i came to the chamber i was informed that a number of these tests have come back as combustible. the releva nt local come back as combustible. the relevant local authorities and fire services have been informed and as i speak, they aren't taking all possible steps to insure buildings are safe and to inform affected residents. mr speaker, we can test over 100
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buildings a day and the results come within hours. i urge any landlord who owns a building of this kind to send samples for testing as soon as possible. any results will be communicated immediately to local authorities and fire services. landlords have a legal obligation to provide safe buildings and where they cannot do that we expect automotive accommodation to be provided. we cannot and will not ask people to live in unsafe homes. mr speaker, it is clear the royal borough of kensington and josie were not able to start on the tragedy. —— cope with the tragedy, so we will also consider a new disaster task force that can help in times of emergency. finally, we must learn some of the lessons of this and
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previous disasters where bereaved families have not had the support they need, so we will introduce an independent public advocate for public disasters, a strong, and supporting them at inquests and enquiries. in the past week, a lot of remarkable people have gone above and beyond to help deal with the fire and its aftermath. first and foremost fire and its aftermath. first and fore m ost of fire and its aftermath. first and foremost of course are the incredible men and women of the emergency services who did so much to serve so many lives. i can't imagine the kind of bravery it takes to run into a building that is burning and head upstairs when any normal person would head for the exits. we have also seen sterling work from teachers, nurses, staff in various local authorities, civil serva nts various local authorities, civil servants doing all they can to help. we have seen incredible acts of generosity from private businesses and we have seen the people of this great country stepping up to help in
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a nyway great country stepping up to help in anyway they can, donating money, clothes come the toys and food, volunteering their time and so much more. but, above all, iwant volunteering their time and so much more. but, above all, i want to pay tribute to the people of kensington. they have opened their hearts and homes to people affected by the fire, coming together and showing what a real community looks like. the selfless actions of local people and the courage and resilience of the survivors should give us all pause for thought. for, the survivors should give us all pause forthought. for, right the survivors should give us all pause for thought. for, right now, our focus is on supporting the victims, finding homes for those made homeless and making sure this country's housing stock is as safe as possible. but as we move forwards, so we must also recognise that for too long in this country and the governments of both colours recently haven't given enough attention to social housing, and this itself is actually a symptom of a more fundamental issue. mr speaker, it shouldn't take a disaster of this kind for us to remember that there are people in britain today living lives that are so far removed that many here in
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westminster enjoy, that in this tower just a few westminster enjoy, that in this towerjust a few miles westminster enjoy, that in this tower just a few miles from westminster enjoy, that in this towerjust a few miles from the houses of parliament in the heart of our great city can people live a fundamentally different life do not feel the state works for them and are therefore mistrustful of it. so, long after the tv cameras have gone and the world has moved on, let the legacy of this awful tragedy be that we resolve never to forget these people, and instead the gear our policies and thinking towards making their lives better and bringing them into the political process. it is ourjob asa into the political process. it is ourjob as a government and i believe as a parliament to show that we are listening and we will stand up we are listening and we will stand upfor we are listening and we will stand up for them, we are listening and we will stand upforthem, and we are listening and we will stand up for them, and that is what i am determined we should do, and i commend the statement to the house. the leader of the opposition, mr jeremy corbyn. thank you, mr speaker, and i acknowledge the prime minister's apologies for the very late arrival of her statement to my office and i understand the reasons for it. i met with the survivors of g re nfell tower, for it. i met with the survivors of grenfell tower, as for it. i met with the survivors of gre nfell tower, as have for it. i met with the survivors of grenfell tower, as have a number of colleagues in the house, and very
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inspiring volunteers coordinating so much of the relief effort for families that have lost so much. there is grave, there is angerand the resource a great solidarity in that community, and i hope the whole house willjoin with me in commending community spirit and public support, which helped so many traumatised families and the amazing response of so many local people and faith groups who rushed to the scene to give clothing, to give food, to give help and to provide a sort of online restaurants are just about anybody who was helping with the disaster relief. 0ur anybody who was helping with the disaster relief. our love, condolences and solidarity goes out to those families again today, and in what will be the very difficult days and weeks ahead, and for many, a lifetime will be reliving the trauma of that dreadful night. they were, as the prime minister said yesterday, let down, both in the immediate aftermath, and so cruelly beforehand, immediate aftermath, and so cruelly before hand, and immediate aftermath, and so cruelly beforehand, and the public enquiry must establish the extent, and by whom. at least 79 people are dead.
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it is both a tragedy and an outrage, because every single one of those deaths could and should have been avoided. the grenfell tower residents themselves have raised concerns about the lack of fire safety in the block. the grenfell action group had warned, and i quote, it is a truly terrifying thought that the grenfell action group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the kensington and chelsea tenant management organisation. the prime minister said it is right that the ceo of kensington and chelsea council has now resigned. it may be, but why aren't the political leaders of kensington and chelsea taking responsibility as well for this whole dreadful event? is the speaker, from hillsborough to the
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child sex abuse scandal the grenfell tower, the pattern is consistent. working class people's voices are ignored, their concerns dismissed by those in power. the grenfell tower residents and north kensington community deserve answers, and thousands and thousands of people living in tower blocks around the country need very urgent reassurance. 0ur very brave firefighters must reassurance. our very brave firefighters must never have to deal with such horrific incident again. and the prime minister is right when she talks about the bravery of firefighters running into a burning building. i have spoken to firefighters on many occasions. but they are overstretched and they are traumatised, traumatised by dealing with london bridge, traumatised by g re nfell tower, with london bridge, traumatised by grenfell tower, yet they carry on doing it, overstretched and understaffed. we need to look at the whole issue of the security of our fire service. those of us with over 30 years experience in this house
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will have struggled as constituency mps underthe will have struggled as constituency mps under the pressure generated by an incident of this scale. as i said yesterday, my friend, my honourable friend the member for kensington, deserves praise for the tireless and diligent way she has stood up for her constituents in the very short time since she was thankfully elected to this house. her constituents need answers, and the public enquiry must address. firstly, the appalling failure of the fire alarms at grenfell tower, which meant many residents reported they were only alerted to the fire by the screams of their neighbours, or by young muslim men banging on the door who had broken from prayers in orderto the door who had broken from prayers in order to try to save lives. something went catastrophically wrong, which lost life. and whether the advice given to tenants to stay in their homes was correct. and what advice should be given to the people living in the 4000 other tower blocks around this country in the
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event of similar disaster. why sprinklers were not installed, and whether they should now be retrofitted into all tower blocks. we need urgent answers to that question. and whether the cladding used was illegal, as the chancellor has suggested, and whether it should be banned entirely, and why the changes must be urgently made the building regulations. as the prime minister indicated in her statement, that this is obviously being urgently addressed. but we also need to address the fire prevention regulations, including the frequency and in force on fire safety checks, because it is my suspicion that many local authorities, because it is my suspicion that many localauthorities, strapped because it is my suspicion that many local authorities, strapped for cash after seven years of cuts, have cut back on fire testing, cut back on inspections, because they simply haven't got the staff to do it any more. and whether the tenant management organisations are responsive enough to their tenants,
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and what greater powers tenants need, both in council, social housing or the private sector, to ensure their own safety. whether survivors and people evacuated from adjacent properties worth rehoused adequately. the prime minister has addressed some of those. i would be interested in her response to those who live nearby and were equally traumatised by the events, and of course they should be rehoused within the borough and i hope there will be no increase in their rent. the enquiry must also address the resources available to the fire and rescue service, and where the response times in the past are adequate for all areas of the country, since the number of awards in which response time targets are not being met has increased tenfold since 2011. lessons must be learned in the public enquiry, and a disaster that should never have happened must never happen again. the government must delay no longer,
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and now implement the recommendations of the 2013 enquiry report into the lakmal house fire. the public enquiry into grenfell must also establish whether lives could have been saved if those recommendations had been implemented in full, and if the recommendations of the all— party parliamentary group had been heeded by government. fire safety measures cannot be left to a postcode lottery. so i asked the government to make available emergency funds as my honourable friend the member for leeds west raised yesterday, so that councils can carry out immediate fire safety checks and install sprinklers, and the timetable for that be made known to residents. there is obviously a huge cost involved in removing andrey cladding blocks that are found to have flammable materials included in them. that money must be
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made available immediately, because it isa made available immediately, because it is a huge job of work. and when the prime minister says that those people who are in danger must be moved out of their properties, this isa moved out of their properties, this is a massive undertaking, and a huge focus of government resources will have to go into it. will the prime minister also ensure that the counselling and mental health services which you refer to as going on at the westway sports centre now are available to all the residents, both at grenfell tower, and of the remaining areas around there, and those that witnessed it on the lancaster west estate, including those in the emergency services, who have been through such trauma over the last few days? because counselling mental health services are important in the days and weeks after the tragedy, but they have to go after the tragedy, but they have to go on for a very long time. this trauma doesn't end a few days afterwards. mr speaker, the public enquiry must report as soon as possible, and changes that can and should have been made must now be made without delay. but we have to
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be aware that this has been a wake—up call to the whole country. the fire at grenfell tower has taken the lives of people who should be with us and alive and happy today. residents of tower blocks all over the country are concerned, worried and frightened for their own safety. what we need is a step change in our attitude towards housing in this country, to deal with the permanent housing crisis that so many of our constituents and residents face, and we need government intervention to support local authorities in bringing about safe solutions to the housing crisis, so that this tragedy can at least change our attitudes, and that lycee, as a country, we are seriously going to address the housing situation that many people face. those people have died, they will never come back. we have to learn those lessons to make sure this tragedy is a turning point in
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our whole attitude, and never again do people die needlessly in a towering inferno, living in poverty, surrounded by a sea of prosperity. thank you, mr speaker. may i first of alljoin the leader of the 0pposition of alljoin the leader of the opposition in commending the work of his new honourable friend, the memberfor kensington. his new honourable friend, the member for kensington. i his new honourable friend, the memberfor kensington. i am sure we can all remember our first few days asa can all remember our first few days as a member of parliament and getting to grips with it. to having to deal with a disaster and tragedy of this sort in your constituency so early on must have been very difficult, but i commend the honourable lady for the work that she has done. the right honourable gentleman raised a number of issues, many of which will be matters for the enquiry to get to grips with, so the enquiry to get to grips with, so the responsibility in relation to this issue, some of the issues around for example the advice given by the fire service, all of these will be issues that the enquiry would i expect address, and as i
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said in my statement, we want to ensure we are able to provide justice to the victims and survivors of this terrible tragedy that has taken place. and i do expect that the chair of the enquiry will produce an interim report, so that we see early lessons. it is important that as soon as we know there is anything that needs to be learned and addressed and acted on, that we know that as soon as the one we ta ke that we know that as soon as the one we take action as soon as possible. he referred to a coroners report in 2013, all the advice from that inquiry has been acted upon and i think it's important to recognise that coroner, the inquiry coroner did not propose any change to the building regulations, there were issues about the guidance to building regulations but there were other issues raised and all of these have the acted on. on the question of rehousing, we will be offering
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rehousing in the borough or in neighbouring boroughs, we have, as i said, gota neighbouring boroughs, we have, as i said, got a significant number of properties, 16a already identified and currently being looked at. a significant number of people have been assessed for housing needs, some offered housing, it's up to them whether they accept that or whether other properties will need to be offered to them but that process is in hand and i have said that three—week commitment people will be rehoused within three weeks. the tenant management organisation which the leader of the opposition mentioned is an issue that has come across loud and clear to me from my conversations with local residents. 0ne conversations with local residents. one of the first actions of the new chief executive of kensington council will be to look at issues around the tenant manner rent organisation and any action needs to be taken at a macro the tenant management organisation. he referred
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to other instances, hillsborough and the child sexual abuse inquiry, i was pleased to be able to work with families from hillsborough, they should have had justice at a far earlier stage but of course the issues are ongoing in terms of the crown prosecution service looking at any potential criminal investigation, criminal charges but we have been able to provide the hillsborough families with an opportunity for the truth for them to know the truth of what happened to know the truth of what happened to their loved ones and for the public to know the truth of hillsborough. i was also pleased to set up the child sexual abuse inquiry because as i said when i set up inquiry because as i said when i set up that inquiry, for too long people made assumptions about certain people in our society and how they should be treated and those assumptions are wrong and we need to dig into that and find out why it happened and change it.|j dig into that and find out why it happened and change it. i am very keen to accommodate the level of interest in this extraordinarily important and great subject. i appeal to colleagues to help me to
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help them, a premium upon brevity, i feel sure now it will be exemplified by mr iain duncan smith. may i welcome the prime ministers statement and the actions she said she will take the government will ta ke she will take the government will take under hearts and prayers go out to those who suffered so terribly and continue to suffer in the days that come. can i ask are in the course of the public inquiry to add to one further agreement, to look at whether or not this whole processes of retrofitting these old tower blocks is in fact viable at all and further or not there is a better way to both house and support tenants in these areas without the use of many of these incredibly badly designed and very faulty tower blocks and could she asked the public inquiry to look carefully whether it's feasible for us now to look at bringing some of these down and improving water family friendly housing? ungrateful to
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improving water family friendly housing? ungratefulto my right honourable friend for his remarks, he is suggesting the inquiry should in fact go a great tool further than looking into this particular instance. i think what's important and we will ensure that the survivors and local residents have an input to the terms of reference for this inquiry to make sure it is an inquiry they can have confidence in and they know will produce the results they need and thejustice they need. i think we need to ensure, i will reflect on his comments but i think it's important primarily that the local residents feel confidence in the terms of reference and that it will get to the truth as they needed. mr iain latchford. thank you, mr speaker i know we all welcome the opportunity of this statement from the prime minister and i think we can all reflect on the seems that we will go to last week, horror of those living
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in the tower block, the suffering and pain they must have gone through, the agony of the fire spread through that whole thing and i want to thank the members of the emergency services, in this and other incidents we have seen over the past few weeks, putting their lives on the line, we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude. we on these benches want to work with the government on these matters, these, this incident last week was a defining moment in the evolution of our society, can i say to the prime minister respectfully, she has apologised to the leader of the 0pposition for the short notice but it should be to the third party and all parties represented in this house that they should be adequate recession. the prime minister in her statement said the initial period was compounded the facts support on the ground and the angel ours wasn't good enough, can i ask through the inquiry if there are recommendations that are made that changes must be made that the government will accept
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those? i think secondly, on the £5 million given to the emergency fund if this is not sufficiently government commit to doing what it needs to do in terms of financial resources ? needs to do in terms of financial resources? i welcome the fact the prime ministers says the new housing block built by the department will be made available for some families and she talks about families moving over the summer. could she be more specific when this will happen and can we make sure those families who wish to live in the local area will have that commitment that housing will be available and it will be done on a basis for consultation and at the first offer is not acceptable there will be alternatives put in place. will the prime minister agree the public inquiry should be empowered to consider all steps that we re empowered to consider all steps that were not taken leading up to and contributing to the incident, all of those with a legitimate interest must be able to participate, this has to include burrito families,
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survivors as well as individuals and organisations with an interest such as the residents campaign and local representative organisations. this needs to be about parliament recognising the significance of what happened here, we can never be as a country in this position again and i welcome the report is a prime minister made a bad social housing. let's make sure social housing is something we invest in, i grew up in a social house, i rememberfondly something we invest in, i grew up in a social house, i remember fondly my childhood and i want people but have the same opportunities we had to have social housing we can all be proud of. thank you mr speaker and perhaps i could take this opportunity in responding to the honourable gentleman to make sure the testing facilities i referred to are open to the devolved administrations as well so i would encourage obviously within devolved administrations, anyone who has any old things of this sort to send some samples in so they can be tested.
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the honourable gentleman asked about the £5 million fund, more money will be made available if necessary, something like 700,000 has already been paid out and further will be paid out but we will be looking at that over time. as regards the berkeley homes development, planning conditions which were attached to that development have been relaxed to enable work to take place over longer hours so work can be speeded up, the current expectation is these could be available by the end of july but i say that, with that caveat, and i am sure he will recognise its dependent on the work being completed. he asked about issues around the inquiry. it is absolutely crucial that what the inquiry does is look at how this happened and part of that will be looking at what led up to the fire, the response to the fire, the immediate response and the aftermath, we need to know why this happened and who was responsible for it. but of course, the judge who
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will chair of the inquiry will have a role in determining how that inquiry is handled in terms of the witnesses he wishes to take and so forth but as i said, i am very clear we need to ensure this is an inquiry e—book can have full confidence and that's why i want to see residents being involved in setting the terms of reference so they know it's an inquiry that will meet their needs. will the prime minister encourage local authorities to follow the lead set by an council with an immediate reinspection of programmes of investment and safety measures to be guided by the fire service and to include sprinklers for these are needed? can i commend and thank my read on a bull friend for drawing that to our attention, i commend barnet council for the action they have taken, i hope every local authority, has been asked by dclg to
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undertake these tests and ensure they are ensuring the safety of the properties on which they are accommodating people. thank you, mr speaker. i thank the prime minister for her kind words, words which must be followed by deeds. speaking on behalf of a traumatised and frightened community who have little trust in authority, early reports suggest that there may have been issues with fire safety audits and fire regulations were not sufficiently robust. while we wait for the results of the inquiry which i hope won't be too long will the prime minister commit to adequate funds to enable emergency services and particularly the london fire brigade to be fully funded to carry out this work and reverse the cuts to the funding of fire services that have made their lives so difficult? these people have quite literally our lives in their hands, in short,
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where is the funding? the prime minister. when i spoke to the emergency services, obviously my first visit to kensington, one of the challenges i gave to them was today have the resources they needed today have the resources they needed to be able to do the job they are doing and they assured me that he did. 0bviously doing and they assured me that he did. obviously the question... the question of what the inquiry will look into in relation to this matter, they will obviously have to look at, as i'vejust matter, they will obviously have to look at, as i've just said, matter, they will obviously have to look at, as i'vejust said, at matter, they will obviously have to look at, as i've just said, at the question of how this was possible but this could happen, the issue around, iam but this could happen, the issue around, i am sure the inquiry will look at the issue around tests that took place on the tower and the adequacy of those tests and the adequacy of those tests and the adequacy of those tests and the adequacy of any response to those issues. i want the inquiry to find these things out as soon as possible because that could have indications for other local authorities and other blogs around the country and
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we wa nt other blogs around the country and we want to insure's people safety. perhaps i should be the first person publicly to congratulate the honourable lady on her election to the house and on being albeit, in the house and on being albeit, in the most grave and traumatic circumstances, the first newly elected member to put a question in this chamber, she's done so to the prime minister, i congratulate the prime minister, i congratulate the prime minister, i congratulate the prime minister of her contribution. zac goldsmith. thank you mr speaker, i want to thank the prime minister for a statement and the reassurance she provided and to thank my own two buhriz for conducting urgent reviews and providing reassurance to residents. there will be people in speech —— positions of authority who will probably be fearing the indications of a proper public inquiry and for the same reason there are likely to be people in the community affected who fear their won't as a result be a full public inquiry, that scepticism will be there for obvious reasons so i want to ask the prime minister if she's a little bit more about the terms of
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reference in the inquiry and explain how local residents will have meaningful input into how they are set. i fully recognise the picture that my honourable friend has set out in relation to the inquiry, that's why i think it's important it isjudge lead, thejudge that's why i think it's important it is judge lead, the judge will be com pletely is judge lead, the judge will be completely independent, it will be up completely independent, it will be up to them to determine the witnesses called and how they will manage the inquiry and i think this is very important because we want people to have the confidence of knowing that offend the inquiry reports, it will be bringing the troops out. we also want people to have the confidence to know that actions that arise as the result of the indications, the findings of that inquiry, will be taken and those who are responsible will be held to account. in relation to the terms of reference, residents will be involved. we are in the process at the moment of looking how it is possible to do that, the judge leading the inquiry will themselves
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wa nt to leading the inquiry will themselves want to reflect on how they want to speak with residents, to hearfrom residents but i think the message i had from residents on being able to bring a survivors group together as a single voice is a very important one and would be helpful in this regard. harriet harmen. ithank regard. harriet harmen. i thank the prime ministerfor her regard. harriet harmen. i thank the prime minister for her statement, regard. harriet harmen. i thank the prime ministerfor her statement, i think the news she has given the house today that the cladding was indeed combustible and having been tested it showed it was combustible is chilling news and will be horrifying confirmation of what people, what we also on our tv screens but it will be even more fright wing for those, i mean there are 58 tower blocks in my constituency, thousands all around the country. can i suggest as prime minister and she gets a grip on this personally, right away, and what she does is... i am just going to make a suggestion, if i may, at what she'd is is use cobra too call together
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and require all local authorities within a certain time frame to check the cladding on every one of the tower blocks. if she has done that, andi tower blocks. if she has done that, and i look forward to hearing that and i look forward to hearing that and look forward to hearing the timescale, so to call together all local authorities, to have a requirement on them to check every cladding on every tower block, to give them the resources to do that inspection within a certain timescale, to commit the resources to replace the cladding within a certain timescale for others find it is combustible, i think if that is exactly what cobra should do and it's not good enough to congratulate or encourage other councils, she must take a grip on it personally, she said... she said the previous coroners inquest findings had been acted on but i would tell her they have not. the coroner in 2013 said
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those deaths were avoidable, they should have been sprinklers, you should have been sprinklers, you should have been change in the fire instructions, the should be greater supervision of contracts and fire inspection, she said it was an unimaginable tragedy and that those deaths should not have happened. they would not have happened if the government had acted on the previous coroners inquest rulings. thank you. prime minister. cani can i said to the right honourable lady would i said in my statement, that local authorities had been invited to send in samples of cladding from similar buildings. they have done those and some of those samples had been found to be combustible. there was in relation to that testing that i use the term combustible. because we had taken, as the right honourable lady had suggested, we had taken the precautionary measure immediately of
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asking all local authorities to go out there, to identify blocks with similar cladding, out there, to identify blocks with similarcladding, and to out there, to identify blocks with similar cladding, and to take measures, together with their local fire and rescue services, to ensure that people within those buildings we re that people within those buildings were safe. pa rt that people within those buildings were safe. part of that process has been about the testing, we stand ready to continue to test for all local authorities who wish to send samples. the description of the coroners report from lakmal house, —— from lack and all house, the not say there should be sprinklers in eve ryo ne say there should be sprinklers in everyone of these properties —— from lakanal house. everyone of these properties —— from la ka nal house. what everyone of these properties —— from lakanal house. what underpinned that she was saying was the necessity of people living in similar blocks are able to feel reassured about their safety. we have taken these steps, local authorities have been working with fire and rescue services, we are now going back after the results of these tests of cladding are being
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given back to local authorities, they are immediately acting. there isa number of they are immediately acting. there is a number of steps they are taking and we expect them to be taken. sir richard bacon. mr speaker, in recent yea rs richard bacon. mr speaker, in recent years london has seen many high—quality high—rises being built, often financed with foreign money and then left empty for years, sometimes with the kitchens cling filmed and pristine. while we all understand there are occasions when a landlord will need to leave an apartment empty from time to time, when brand—new properties are left empty for years, does the prime minister think it is right to discuss with the chancellor of the exchequer, changing the taxation system so that as in new york city these people face punitive taxation. my these people face punitive taxation. my honourable friend raises an interesting point. i understand in fa ct interesting point. i understand in fact the number of empty homes is actually at low levels at the
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moment, and of course we always look to see what we can do. all we want to see what we can do. all we want to ensure is that people are housed and that properties are being used for the purposes of which they have been built. while the rich and poor of the voting regulations are fed from purpose, we should all be protected from fire in our own homes. what assurances can be prime minister give that the lakanal house coroner's recommendations will be done as quickly as possible and that the building regulatory advisory committee, which is to read and has undertaken this work, the recall as a matter of urgency. this could be donein a matter of urgency. this could be done in tandem with the public enquiry, doesn't have to wait until the end of it. the honourable gentleman obviously with his background has particular interest in these issues. the coroner's recommendations was not to changing the regulations but the guidance that followed those regulations, and that followed those regulations, and that work is indeed in hand. my
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understanding is that fire regulations have not been changed since 2006. 0bviously regulations have not been changed since 2006. obviously a public enquiry will want to look at this is one of the issues they address. the amount of remedial work that may need to be carried out on a limited timescale will possibly mean great pressures fall on the workforce that is capable of carrying out this remedial work. will the prime minister in sure that her colleagues in government make all the necessary funds and resources available if we need to recruit or train further personnel to carry out the remedial work on those blocks that fail the tests ? work on those blocks that fail the tests? my right honourable friend raises a very important point, we need to ensure that the resources are there in every sense for the remedial work that is necessary, and we are looking at a variety of ways that we can ensure that is indeed the case. mr david lambie. all members of this house, across this house, will have mental ward, it
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employed and want to see flourish young people. my wife principally andi young people. my wife principally and i mental ward, young people. my wife principally and i mentalward, employed young people. my wife principally and i mental ward, employed and encouraged a young woman called khadija saye, who lost her life with her mother on the 20th floor of g re nfell tower. her mother on the 20th floor of grenfell tower. i spoke to her father on tuesday, and he described with anguish obviously losing his only daughter. and we had a discussion about how he would cope in going to the more treat to visit his daughter in the state that clearly she was in. on their behalf, and all of the people that died, i urge the prime minister to say something more about the criminal investigation that was announced last week. she has talked about the public enquiry, but she understands that most people see this as a crime, and they know that rich and powerful organisations get away with
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crime. can she say what resources have been brought to bearfor the metropolitan police, how big are the teams, and why is it that we have not had any commentary about charges, about arrests or about the seizure of documents? can i first of all say is how sorry i am to hear that the right honourable gentleman has lost somebody, a friend, in this terrible tragedy? there are obviously many people in that position but it brings it home to this house and right into this chamber. he mentioned the issue of treatment, if i could just mention that there is a family bereavement centre now opened, which provides a suitable place in which people can be counselled in relation to this matter. and there is a great deal of thought and care being undertaken in relation to those families who will obviously be wanting to see bodies
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of those who have died in the fire. this is a very sensitive and difficult matter as i'm sure all members of this house will recognise, and every action is being taken to do this as sensitively and thoughtfully as possible, with the consideration of those who have lost loved ones. in relation to the criminal investigation, the criminal investigation has been opened by the metropolitan police. the right honourable gentleman invites me to comment on that in a whole variety of ways, as he knows this is an operational matter for the metropolitan police service the pit is for them to determine any point at which they have evidence which could lead to prosecutions or two charges or prosecutions, we must let the met do theirjob. they are doing it carefully and they are doing it properly, but i can assure him and others that they will get to the truth, and they will leave no stone unturned, and if there are charges and prosecutions to be made, then they will be. i attended a group,
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and understandably heated group discussion with residents of the shadow of grenfell tower last evening who seem to be confused in terms of retrofitting of sprinklers. the right honourable lady from camberwell and pack is also unclear on this. the coroner recommended we should in courage housing providers to retrofit, despite the fact that the royal borough of kensington and chelsea didn't carry out this £8.7 million refurbishment, they didn't retrofit sprinklers. does the prime minister agree that perhaps now is the time to provide incentives for local authorities to retrofit when carrying out these kind of refurbishments? my honourable friend has rightly identified the recommendation the coroner made, which was that encouragement be given the landlords to retrofit
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sprinklers. but i would just say the members of this house that the situation is not as easy as perhaps it would appear, in that in not all cases will it be the case that the retrofitting of sprinklers is actually going to be the thing that makes the difference. there is a whole variety of reasons why that may be the case. some work has been undertaken on testing retrofitting of sprinklers into a number of tower blocks in different parts of the country, because, as i say, it isn't just a question of going in and assuming you will do it and it will automatically work and do the job thatis automatically work and do the job that is necessary. so it is an issue that is necessary. so it is an issue thatis that is necessary. so it is an issue that is being looked at and continues to be looked at, but it needs to be done so carefully to ensure that any work that is done what is required is generally going to operate in a way to keep people safe. tom brake. mr speaker, can i express mine and my party's condolences to those affected by
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this disaster and my praise for the community and emergency services who stepped up in the immediate aftermath, when unfortunately the local authorities failed to do so. can the prime minister confirm when the work on the guidance she referred to on building regs, fire safety, will be completed? can she confirmed that as much focus will be put on private blocks, perhaps particularly those that were converted from office blocks in the residential blocks, as is being put on local authority and housing association blocks, and can she confirmed that the government will immediately banned the use of combustible materials to insure that this tragedy cannot happen again? on the last point, obviously the building regulations set out the materials that are compliant and those that are noncompliant. 0bviously those that are noncompliant. obviously as we go through this process of looking at materials that have been used in various blocks,
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the question is to whether those indeed comply with the building regulations or not will be one of those that need stability that and of course that will be an issue that will need to be looked at in relation to the public enquiry. the questions in relation to the guidance of the building regulations, that work is ongoing andi regulations, that work is ongoing and i would expect it is notjust a question of producing something, but thatis question of producing something, but that is need to be consultation with various organisations in relation to that matter. that what we need to ensure is that when the fire services, when the police have done their investigation, that any action thatis their investigation, that any action that is necessary immediately as a result of the identification of the cause of the fire, and the reasons why the fire took such cold, which is of course the issue that is of particular concern, then any action thatis particular concern, then any action that is necessary is taken, and it will be taken. geoffrey clifton brown. my right honourable friend might be interested to know i spent about three hours on monday quietly
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walking around the grenfell tower area, talking to people. i met traumatised victims, who didn't want to go into the centre is to get help, so clearly people need to go out to them. they were angry that there was no clear housing policy as to when and where they were going to be re—housed, but above all what i found was that there is an enormous amount of work being done by volu nta ry amount of work being done by voluntary bodies, all sorts of bodies, but there is a clear lack of coordination as to how these bodies are to move forward together. so can i strongly support what my right honourable friend said this morning that we should establish a high—level government task force thatis high—level government task force that is able to go into a similar sort of disaster, they should be available 2a hours a day, 300s are the five days a year to take over from the immediate gold command situation? can i thank my honourable friend for the feedback he has provided to ministers in relation to the conversations he had. he is absolutely right, the point has been
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made to key workers that they need to go out to see people to make sure people know what is available to them, rather than just expecting people to come into the centre. i can assure him that we are looking actively at what further resilience we can put into the system by establishing the sort of task force he and! establishing the sort of task force he and i have both spoken about that will be available, should, i mean, none of us want to see a second chance like this happen again, but that we ensure there is full resilience where disasters take place. hilary benn. thank you very much, mr speaker. while many of the questions that those affected by the disaster will want answers to will have to wait the outcome of the enquiry, there is one factual question that surely it is possible to a nswer question that surely it is possible to answer now. was cladding of the type used in grenfell tower compliant with the fire safety and building regulations applicable at the time when the refurbishment was undertaken, yes or no? my
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understanding is the fire service and the building research establishment have obviously, and b are either were there on the scene very early to look at this issue. they have been identifying the cause of the fire and any contributory factors to the fire. they have been looking at the cause of the fire and any contributory factors, they are testing the cladding on the building, and they expect to make the results of this public in the next i think a8 hours. anne—marie trevelyan. anne-marie trevelyan. thank you mr speaker, can my honourable friend confirmed that firefighters who attended this traumatic scene will get the psychological support they receive in the time ahead and would she commit telling us how that will be set up for them? my honourable friend has raised an important issue which the leader of the opposition
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also touched on and i can confirm that support and counselling will be available and there will be further up available and there will be further up dates to the house on the response to the grenfell tower fire and that will be an issue to be included. yvette cooper. further to the previous question the cladding on the tower is a standard rubber thatis on the tower is a standard rubber that is available for sale, i don't understand why the prime minister cannot tell us whether that product is compliant with building regulations for eight tower that is the site. why can she not tell us the site. why can she not tell us the answer and can she also confirmed the building regulations advisory committee that should be looking at part b of the fire regulations, has not actually meant to see how they could be improved. regulations, has not actually meant to see how they could be improvedlj will to see how they could be improved.” will add to the answer that i gave to the right and noble gentleman previously, i ask honourable members
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to remember that there is a criminal investigation taking place in relation to this matter. the testing, it isn't. .. relation to this matter. the testing, it isn't... the testing of the material used is being undertaken and a statement will be made by the police and the fire service within the next... james cleverly. thank you mr speaker. there are a number of multi agency plans for things like mass shelter, mass... can we confirm that these plans were fully implemented and can we ensure what lessons we work through the inquiry process are fed back into the resilience forum in london and around the country to insure those lessons are promptly implemented? i thank my honourable friend for his question, obviously with his ex—errands when he was on
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the london assembly, he took a particular interest in matters relating to the london fire brigade and fire service matters. i can indeed confirm we are, we have already looked at the question of resilience forums around the country, we will learn any lessons and feed them into the resilience teams but we also need to ensure the resilience forums around the country are as resilient as they need to be in terms of providing the support should any disaster happened. we seen should any disaster happened. we seen this issue in relation to other disasters like flooding, we need to insure that they are operating as accurately as they should. can the prime minister please confirm when thejudge will be prime minister please confirm when the judge will be appointed, also with the comments made by my collea g u es with the comments made by my colleagues on this site, i'd be grateful for your clarification as to whether you're advising us that
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you don't know whether the cladding was building regulation compliant because the question that been raised with the prime minister is whether that to reel was compliant and argue advising that it needs to be tested before you can give us a reply to that question? as i've said, the material is being tested, the results of those tests will be... the information that... the information that the fire and police are able to give publicly, they will give, this is part of the criminal investigation. in relation, it is... honourable members... honourable members may shake their heads but cani members may shake their heads but can ijust members may shake their heads but can i just make members may shake their heads but can ijust make this point? honourable members want to make sure there are criminal charges to be brought those charges are indeed brought. and we must therefore ensure that we give the police the opportunity to do the job that they undertake and that nothing that we
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do prejudices that. i welcome the prime minister's commitment to the publication of the early interim report. after the croydon tram crash last year the real accident investigation board published two interim reports within three months identifying the immediate cause of the tram crash, so action could be taken. could the tram crash, so action could be ta ken. could the the tram crash, so action could be taken. could the prime minister assured this house is approach will be taken in relation to this particular interim report.” be taken in relation to this particular interim report. i thank my honourable friend for that and it was important that report came out quickly in relation to the croydon inquiry and! quickly in relation to the croydon inquiry and i can confirm that i fully expect thejudge inquiry and i can confirm that i fully expect the judge to bring out an interim report but can i say to the honourable lady, sorry, i didn't a nswer the honourable lady, sorry, i didn't answer her first question about the judge, i would expect within the next few days to be able to announce the name of the judge. next few days to be able to announce the name of thejudge. we next few days to be able to announce the name of the judge. we very much wa nt to the name of the judge. we very much want to ensure that when the judge ta kes want to ensure that when the judge takes charge of this inquiry, that
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people feel as i said earlier, they can have full confidence in the inquiry and so we will take steps to ensure that is the case. sympathies are not enough but on behalf of my party i offer them to all who have suffered and i express my gratitude to the emergency services officers show dedication and such unimaginable conditions. criminal investigations are only to be expected but utilising individuals as partial retribution, those in government should search for souls and for the prime minister commit to ensure that in future policy legislation and resources, a disaster of this magnitude can never happen again in a 21st first world country? can i first of all congratulate the honourable lady and her appointment as leader of the plaid cymru members in this house and can! plaid cymru members in this house and can i assure plaid cymru members in this house and can i assure we plaid cymru members in this house and can i assure we doing everything in this house and the inquiry will play an important part in identifying action that needs to be
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taken to insure a disaster like this can never happen again. richard tracks. can my right honourable friend confirmed that the cladding is found to be illegal, other research comes back but other towers have been similarly clad that the public inquiry will extend its remote public inquiry will extend its re m ote to public inquiry will extend its remote to look at investigations into all towers that are similarly clad with the legal cladding if indeed it is illegal? what i did say to my honourable friend is that if illegal activity has taken place then that is a matter of the police and will form part of the criminal investigation by police will undertake. 0f investigation by police will undertake. of course the inquiry, it's not just undertake. of course the inquiry, it's notjust a question of what undertake. of course the inquiry, it's not just a question of what the inquiry does, it's a question of what we are doing now in relation to other tower blocks, that's why we're encouraging private landlords, and housing associations amongst others to sending samples for testing. angela eagle. thank you mr speaker. as the leader of a party which is
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responsible for seven years of austerity which has cut 56%, 56%, 56% of the cash available to my local authority, but the last seven yea rs, local authority, but the last seven years, and the leader of the party that has spent its time talking about regulation as a bad thing, is she now to the country for the state of local government went the richest in london cannot afford, couldn't cope with this emergency calls... at the same time as they were giving money back to the council taxpayers. isaid to money back to the council taxpayers. i said to the honourable lady, we are dealing, currently dealing with the aftermath of the terrible disaster that has led to people
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losing their lives and others losing their homes and everything they owned. we are ensuring we are putting the steps in place, i recognise as i said, initially the response wasn't good enough, that's fine we stepped up the response and ididn't fine we stepped up the response and i didn't respond to the right honourable lady, the memberfor camberwell and peckham but i said in my statement i have chairing cobra meetings myself, that's why we've been putting extra resource in to make sure that responses suitable. this will be an issue of looking at the regulations, as i said my understanding is that these were established in 2006. we will be looking at the regulations, the inquiry will look at them, how they we re inquiry will look at them, how they were applied, the actions of the local authority, i am sure they will look at issues raised about the residents complaints in advance of this disaster about the tenant management organisation and they will get the bottom of who was responsible. order, order. as befits
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the occasion these are a thoughtful and solemn exchanges but i must advise the house that progress thus far has been very slow, i am keen to try and accommodate the extent of the interest and therefore i appeal to colleagues now to confine themselves to pithy, short single sentence questions of which the honourable gentleman the member for north—east somerset is a notable exponent. jacob rees mogg. thank you. at the end of her compassionate statement that prime ministers said we have to think about people leading very different lives from ourselves, as i'm sure she knows, opinion surveys going back over decades people never said they wa nted decades people never said they wanted to live in tower blocks and can we change public policy so tower blocks can become a thing of the past? i'm gratefulto my blocks can become a thing of the past? i'm grateful to my honourable friend for that question. there aren't many people who don't wish to live in tower blocks, there are some
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people who are perfectly comfortable living in tower blocks, what we have to look at is the approach taken to social housing, i think that's one of the lessons to come from this disaster. i don't want to be an outbreak of sibling rivalry so ibe but therefore call maria eagle. thank you, mr speaker. the prime minister confirmed in her statement testing arrangements confirmed combustible cladding in some tower blocks on other parts of the country. given that people who were living in those tower blocks are going to fear perhaps more than others the consequences of that discovery what steps can she take to make sure that the landlords and local authorities where these tower blocks exist can swiftly, swiftly, deal with the consequences of that discovery? that work is already being undertaken. as soon as we identified, first of all, the testing work has been undertaken by
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local authorities, housing associations, we encourage private landlords to do it too, of their blogs, to ensure fire safety. we encourage everyone to sending samples encourage everyone to sending sa m ples overly ca n encourage everyone to sending samples overly can check in labs, local authorities were immediately informed if the material is combustible, they are then looking with their local fire service at ensuring the safety of those buildings, that will be done in a number of ways but of course there isa number of ways but of course there is a responsibility to ensure people are housed safely and the government is working with local authorities to ensure that. i commend the statement from my right honourable friend and the extraordinary degree of personal responsibility she has taken. as she and her officials had the opportunity to look at reports by the public administration and constitutional affairs committee and its predecessor committee under doctor tony wright which repeatedly recommended the house of commons should have more of a role in the setting up of such enquiries and would she consider asking the house
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to establish a special select committee very quickly to look at the terms of reference, to give a pre—appointment hearing as necessary and to set the budget and timetable and to set the budget and timetable and mixture this public inquiry has cross— party and mixture this public inquiry has cross—party and public confidence in the way so many public enquiries have failed to do? my right honourable friend raises an important issue about enquiries and of course, we always look carefully at the reports of the pac and indeed its predecessor committee. i think what is pot and in relation to this inquiry is that we do get it up and running. with appropriate speed. and the most important thing to me is the most important thing to me is the residents avec will have confidence in the inquiry. the key thing that we need to do is ensure it has the residents who feel this inquiry is genuinely going to get to the truth for them. i am still
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waiting to hear the prime ministers say she will underwrite the costs to local authorities of inspection and urgent remedial action given cuts of up urgent remedial action given cuts of up to urgent remedial action given cuts of uptoa urgent remedial action given cuts of up to a third and a half of local authority budgets and housing providers being required to implement a red card which a squeeze their budgets. we cannot have a postcode lottery in terms of safety provision and that needs a commitment now from the government to underwrite it, will she do that today, yes or no? we are providing the testing facilities to local authorities, working with local authorities, working with local authorities to identify their needs and requirements and the response they need to take. and work with them to insure they can respond in them to insure they can respond in the way that is necessary. can the prime minister confirmed that residents will be housed as close as possible to work they lived to ensure they are close to friends, family and support networks? yes, i can't give that reassurance, it's being close to friends and family but also it's important for children
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and for me to be able to go to their local schools. make hellyer. the prime minister talked about those far removed from the lifestyles of those here in westminster, this is the reality in my constituency with overcrowding, two families living in many homes, homelessness the worst it's ever been, will she be true to the word and take a personal lead in taking plans for it to make sure we are delivering not just taking plans for it to make sure we are delivering notjust more housing but really affordable housing of the people who needed? and we publish proposals in relation to housing before the general election. we want to ensure there are more affordable homes, more houses being built, and we are putting half £1 billion into the issue of dealing with homelessness. may i thank the prime minister for her detailed and compassionate statement that she has given us this morning, but i wonder if she would agree that, although there are
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obviously legitimate questions surrounding the grenfell tower tragedy and absolutely rightly they must be asked, we should exercise all caution in attributing blame or condemnation before we know the fa cts ? as condemnation before we know the facts? as a formerjournalist i feel really strongly about this. scaremongering doesn't help anybody. getting to the bottom of things does. my honourable friend is right. what is important is that the evidence is identified, that the issueis evidence is identified, that the issue is properly considered, everybody is able to give their views and their evidence into the enquiry and that it is able to get to the truth and to find the result and find out what happened. 0bviously and find out what happened. obviously the fire services and the police are looking at the immediate cause of the fire and will make public any statements in relation to that they are able to, but the enquiry will get to the truth and it is important that we actually allow the enquiry to identify responsibility. leeds city council
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have responded swiftly, communicating with tenants and residents in all 116 blocks, testing the cladding, none of which uses the same as that was used in kensington. but what we now need to know, and following on from the question from the memberfor following on from the question from the member for westminster north following on from the question from the memberfor westminster north is that what ever recommendations are made, on sprinklers, on cladding, on fire alarms and other remedial work, that it will be central government that it will be central government thatis that it will be central government that is providing the funds to ensure that residents in all those thousands of tower blocks across the country are safe. i thought i had responded on a number of questions on this. the government is working with local authorities. we will insure any essential works necessary in terms of the medial action for the safety of these blocks in relation to fire are taken. we will identify... there will be different
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circumstances in different local authorities. we will insure that the work can be undertaken. can i commend the prime ministerfor her statement and for talking about the public enquiry? from my experience of having a public enquiry the two and a half years in my constituency it is absolutely vital it is thorough but that it is also as swift as possible. can i urge that whomsoever is appointed talks with people like sir robert francis, who chaired the public enquiry in my constituency to find out from his experience how that can best be achieved? i am grateful to experience how that can best be achieved? i am gratefulto my honourable friend, i absolutely agree with him that this is done as quickly as possible. can i welcome the prime minister's statement that the prime minister's statement that the government will pay for legal representation by those affected by this fire at the enquiry? i ask to confirm that this means both victims and tenants groups will be given
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public funding for independent and separate legal representation, sufficient to enable them to have a voice equal to that of local and national government and the private management company? i ask this question because i understand that the tenants association were not allowed legal representation in the lakanal allowed legal representation in the la ka nal house allowed legal representation in the lakanal house enquiry.” allowed legal representation in the lakanal house enquiry. i said to the honourable lady that it is one of the experiences that kmart of the hillsborough enquiry was the importance of ensuring that those who were affected had appropriate legal representation, and the government did fund that legal representation to enable them to have the strength of voice they neededin have the strength of voice they needed in that enquiry. 0f have the strength of voice they needed in that enquiry. of course, as she will be aware, how the enquiry is conducted, and the witnesses who are called and the representations that will be received, there will be an element of thejudge deciding received, there will be an element of the judge deciding how he wants to conduct that enquiry. but for those who require legal representation, we will be funding that by the government, and i have not set any limits in relation to
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the types of body or the individuals who that will be. studio: coverage of this continues on bbc parliament. we will just of this continues on bbc parliament. we willjust break awayjust of this continues on bbc parliament. we will just break away just to of this continues on bbc parliament. we willjust break awayjust to pick up we willjust break awayjust to pick up on some of the key lines that have emerged from that statement by the prime minister and the subsequent questioning. tests on cladding and tower blocks after the fire at grenfell tower had shown a number combustor ball. there are tests being carried out on 100 tower blocks every day, and she said some of those tests have shown a number are combustible. in terms of where that takes us, she was saying, that it is important that people are housed safely and councils have a responsibility to ensure that. also talking about immigration should not be an issue for anybody not coming forward to say that they were in that tower and that they are ok,
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saying that all victims will not be tested on their immigration status, everybody is going to be helped as a result of what has happened at g re nfell tower. result of what has happened at grenfell tower. and also talking about residents getting involved in setting the terms of reference for the enquiry. she did not answer the question as to whether the cladding on tower blocks, combustible cladding, is actually illegal, which is interesting, given that the chancellor philip hammond had previously said it was, she would not answer that question. well, she did saya not answer that question. well, she did say a number of tower blocks around the country are covered in similar combustible cladding material as grenfell tower. the house should of course be careful on spec relating what caused this fire, but as a precaution, the government has arranged to test cladding in all releva nt tower has arranged to test cladding in all relevant tower blocks. mr speaker, shortly before i came to the
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chamber, i was informed that a none of these tests have come back as combustible. the relevant local authorities and local fire services have been informed, and, as i speak, they are taking all possible steps to insure buildings are safe and to inform affected residents. 0ur reporterjim reed has been to a new tower block in north london which, the housing association has confirmed, is cladded in what's thought to be the same material. he has spoken to residents and the housing association reps there. it seems there are a number of tower blocks now identified. we don't know the numbers yet, theresa may saying a number of tests have come back as combustible. we think there will be a statement from the secretary of state from local government and communities this afternoon that might give us an idea of numbers involved. it is quite completed it, because it is notjust councils here, it is housing associations, half of the housing stock is owned and run by housing associations, not councils. we went to one development last night in tottenham, north london. the interesting thing about
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this one, it is a very new development, so this is called rivers apartments, it is social housing, there is a 22 floor block in the middle that was builtjust two years ago. it is a shared ownership scheme, so it is social housing and yesterday we understand that residents said it is very likely it is the same material that was on grenfell tower. we spoke to mark newstead from newlands housing trust to ask in what is going on and how they are dealing with this situation. the more important question for us now is not whether or not this met building regulations at the time, it is what is the ongoing safety of the building and what impact will this have on the safety of the building, this cladding, and if we are advised it is not safe for it would have a dutch mental impact during the fire, then we will look to have that cladding replaced as soon as possible. so you might have to take it all down? that is a very real possibility. so what have people
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living there said? it is important to mention in this case that this is very different from grenfell tower. it isa very different from grenfell tower. it is a new block, builtjust two or three years ago, so it has all those new safety features, a fireman ‘s lift, smoke ventilation system, it has safe rooms in the building itself so it is very different from grenfell. also the design of it, the cladding may be the same, but in these new—build sites, the cladding was always in visit is part of the construction of the building. the issue with grenfell is they were adding cladding to a 1970s block, and the people we spoke to said that can build risk into what you're doing. having said that, we spoke to residents last night, who said they are concerned, they want answers, they want to know why this stuff was put on the outside of their building. you can see this is a new— build, so if building. you can see this is a new—build, so if they are using stuff that is done how many years ago, it is disgusting. the amount of money they have, they need to sort out the health and safety, this is the first priority. so i do hope it
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gets done as soon as possible, because it will be better for all of us. obviously grenfell was absolutely tragic but i think it is two absolute different buildings, this is only three years old, built with modern fireproof technology. i don't really think i am too concerned about the cladding on its own. if this didn't happen with the fire in grenfell, i mean, what would have happened ? fire in grenfell, i mean, what would have happened? we would have been living here and unknowingly were not say. so i am very disappointed, i am. these things it should have been checked out before having people move in, do you know what i mean? so newlon, the housing association, said it's arranged with the fire service to carry out more checks today. they are sending off the material to be scientifically tested, though they are pretty sure it is the same stuff that was at grenfell tower. the interesting thing is that that block was just two years old. we
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understand the building regulations we re understand the building regulations were approved by haringey council. the company involved in building it, a ftse 250 company, earliest averaged building company. people say you have to look at the building regulations, if a company with that much experience as putting stuff on the outside of the building which the outside of the building which the government at least at the weekend was saying is banned, what is going on with these regulations, are they understood ? is going on with these regulations, are they understood? philip hammond did say that it is banned, but theresa may would not answer the question in the commons, what is the situation? we just don't know at this stage. you speak to one fire safety officer, they say one thing very first fritz lee, speak to the next they say something else. the best we can say is that the regulations are very difficult to understand, nobody is clear. norman smith has been listing into what has happened in the commons. what do you think about what you have heard? an awful lot of questions now. 0bviously have heard? an awful lot of questions now. obviously we need to know how many tower blocks have got this flammable clothing, what
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happens to residents living in them at the moment. are they going to be rehoused or evacuated? at the moment. are they going to be rehoused or evacuated ? how at the moment. are they going to be rehoused or evacuated? how swiftly canvey cladding be removed, how will it take to carry out the checks on what the a000 tower blocks that there are in the uk, and in terms of whether or not this cladding complies with building regulations, listening to what mrs may was saying, she was repeatedly asked that, and she repeatedly avoided answering it. ithink that, and she repeatedly avoided answering it. i think the reason she avoided answering it is because it forms part of the police investigation, and she said within the next a8 hours, the police will issue a statement about the enquiry in relation to cladding, and that rather suggests there may be a question about the legality of the cladding used on grenfell tower. now, that would then raise the possibility that maybe other tower blocks, if they have got the same
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cladding, potentially have got illegal material on the side of their buildings, so these are very, very serious questions. norman, thank you very much. much more reaction to that coming up on bbc newsroom live next. thank you for your company today, have a good day, i will see you soon. we have a breakdown of this heatwave. pretty intense thunderstorms moving their way out into the north sea. these are the temptress in the west, notably cooler by a good 10 celsius.
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holding onto the warmth —— the temperatures. through the night, clear spells for many but more rain spread into scotland, northern ireland, that will sink southwards. if you have struggled in previous nights with those high temperatures, the night it should be much more co mforta ble, the night it should be much more comfortable, down to about 13 to 15 degrees. during friday, this area of rain will continue to move south but will break up as it does so, quite cloudy for central areas, some brighter, sunny weather toward southern areas and eventually towards northern parts as well, temperatures getting up to the high teens, low 20s. goodbye. this is bbc news, and these are the top stories developing at 11.
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the prime minister the zach test the other tower blocks in the wake of the grenfell tower disaster show that some have the same cladding.” was informed that a number of these tests have come back as combustible. the relevant local authorities and fire services have been informed and asi fire services have been informed and as i speak they are taking all possible steps to make sure that buildings are safe and to inform affected residents. the bbc identifies one tower block in north london with what is thought to be the same cladding used in the g re nfell tower. the same cladding used in the grenfell tower. i would say that it is disgusting. the amount of money that they have, they

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