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Grenfell Tower dead murdered by political decisions, says John McDonnell

The shadow chancellor was speaking at Glastonbury Festival’s Left Field.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has claimed the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire were murdered by political decisions.

Mr McDonnell spoke at Glastonbury Festival’s Left Field a day after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn drew a crowd of thousands to the tent.

The MP for Hayes and Harlington was taking part in a debate with Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and economist Faiza Shaheen.

Guardian journalist John Harris chaired the hour-long debate, which asked whether democracy is broken.

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

“The decision not to build homes and to view housing as only for financial speculation rather than for meeting a basic human need made by politicians over decades murdered those families. The decision to close fire stations and to cut 10,000 firefighters and then to freeze their pay for over a decade contributed to those deaths inevitably and they were political decisions.”

Mr McDonnell said he and Mr Corbyn had been trying to achieve honest politics for the past two years despite media attacks.

(Ben Birchall/PA)

He said certain newspapers “came after us and tried to destroy us because we stood up to the establishment and the elite”.

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