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People at top of government must be held to account for Grenfell – union leader

The Fire Brigades Union held an emotional debate on the fire at its annual conference in Brighton.

Politicians “at the very top” cannot be allowed to get away without action for decisions which led to the Grenfell Tower disaster, a union leader said.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said the disaster should herald a “complete change of direction” over privatisation, regulations and the funding of public services.

The union held an emotional debate on the fire at its annual conference in Brighton, with delegates saying the tragedy should be a turning point for public safety.

Mr Wrack said deregulation of buildings and cuts to safety inspections had created the conditions for Grenfell.

“The Grenfell Tower fire was a crime. Those people at the top of government and the system they created should be held to account, not just the subcontractors who screwed cladding to the side of the building.

“The whole regime needs to be examined. They have created a system of negligent and frankly criminal complacency.

“We cannot allow those at the very top to get away.”

Delegates all wore t-shirts bearing the message: “Firefighters demand justice 4 Grenfell.”

Moyra Samuels from the Justice 4 Grenfell Campaign told the conference she had been shocked to discover how much combustible material there had been inside and outside the building.

“Grenfell was a death trap. How could that level of combustible material be put in somebody’s house? I am baffled.”

She added that the community would not get justice unless those responsible for the causes of the fire were prosecuted.

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