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Government will do ‘whatever is required’ following Grenfell Tower blaze

Sajid Javid said there would be immediate action following any early conclusions from an investigative report into the fatal fire.

The Government will do “whatever is required” in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, the Communities Secretary has promised.

Sajid Javid said there would be immediate action following the early conclusions from an investigative report into the blaze which has left at least 17 people dead.

“We need to do whatever it takes to make people that live in those properties safe: that’s either make the properties safe or find some other accommodation, it has to be done,” Mr Javid told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“The Government has been absolutely clear on this: we need to do whatever is required and that will happen. In this country, in this century, for this kind of thing to happen it is horrific and we cannot allow anything like this to ever happen again.”

Mr Javid was pressed on what would happen to other buildings with the same cladding as Grenfell Tower.

He said: “What’s going to be very important here is what do the fire investigators tell us from their preliminary work and obviously that work has already begun.

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Mr Javid said the UK could not allow "anything like this to ever happen again" (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

“If they tell us that the cladding is the problem or how cladding is put on, or there might be some other issue that no-one has thought of yet, that is what will lead that investigation.

“But whatever they tell us that is exactly what we need to deal with and we need to deal with it immediately and there will be no bars to that, we will deal with it but we have to be led by the expert opinion on it.”

Asked whether dealing with the findings would include evacuating other buildings, Mr Javid said: “Whatever they tell us is necessary to make those people safe, there can be no shortcuts to this.”

Mr Javid was asked why more had not been done following a report into the 2009 Lakanal House blaze.

He said: “There were a number of recommendations, all recommendations were actioned and my predecessor responded to that report publicly about how they would be actioned and they’ve been actioned.”

The Communities Secretary also told the programme he was working with the local authority to ensure people who lived in Grenfell Tower were “rehoused properly, immediately in the local area”.

“That’s why I’ll be visiting later today to see if there is anything more that we can do – we’ve already released emergency funds – I want to make sure we do everything we possibly can.”

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Mr Javid visited residents, families and volunteers at a relief centre near the tower.

“One can only imagine what they are going through,” he told reporters.

“It was heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking, just to talk to them, listen to them, what they’ve been through and are still going through.”

He vowed to do “whatever is necessary” to rehouse families within the borough or neighbouring boroughs and said “cost is not an issue right now”.

When asked if empty houses would be requisitioned he replied: “We need to look at what is necessary, I’m not convinced that kind of action is necessary because we can find homes that we need here locally through other means.”

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From Belfast Telegraph