Theresa May says ALL residents in blocks at risk of fire to be moved out in wake of Grenfell Tower tragedy


Several other tower blocks in the country could go up in flames in a similar way to the Grenfell Tower, Theresa May has said.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister confirmed that residents in fire risk blocks will also be moved out because “we will not ask people to live in unsafe homes”.

She said similar cladding to that used on the exterior of Grenfell Tower, where at least 79 people died in a fire, has been identified on a number of other tower blocks.

People will be rehomed in alternative accommodation as a matter of urgency.

Mrs May said more information will be released later about where the at-risk blocks of flats are located.

Mrs May also confirmed there will be no immigration checks on Grenfell residents after concerns people were not seeking help over fears they would be reported to the Home Office.

Workmen were today pictured at the new luxury block of flats on Kensington High Street, where Grenfell victims are set to move in.

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Workmen put the finishing touches on new flats in Kensington where Grenfell residents will be rehomed (Jeremy Selwyn)

Speaking in the Commons, the PM added it was “right” that the chief executive of Kensington council, Nicholas Holgate, had resigned after it became clear the local authority “could not cope”.

She said the cladding on around 100 buildings is being tested every day and a number of the tests have come back as “combustible”. Mrs May urged landlords to send samples so as many blocks as possible could be tested.

“The House should, of course, be careful on speculating what caused this fire,” she said.

“But, as a precaution, the Government has arranged to test cladding in all relevant tower blocks.

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The PM speaking about the Grenfell disaster in Parliament. (AFP/Getty Images)

“Shortly before I came to the chamber, I was informed that a number 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 ensure buildings are safe and to inform affected residents.”

She added: “Landlords have a legal obligation to provide safe buildings and where they cannot do that we expect that alternative accommodation is provided.

“We cannot and will not ask people to live in unsafe homes.”

Grenfell Tower aftermath – In pictures

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the residents of Grenfell Tower were “let down both in the immediate aftermath and so cruelly beforehand”.

He said the public inquiry “must establish the extent and by who”.

“At least 79 people are dead – it is both a tragedy and an outrage because every single one of those deaths could and should have been avoided,” he added.

The PM promised a public inquiry would be held into the disaster and said the Government would cover the legal costs of all victims and those involved.

She also pledged each family affected by the tragedy would receive £5,500 from the Government to help rebuild their lives.

No one who receives the money will have to pay it back.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the residents of Grenfell Tower were “let down both in the immediate aftermath and so cruelly beforehand”.

He said the public inquiry “must establish the extent and by who”.

“At least 79 people are dead – it is both a tragedy and an outrage because every single one of those deaths could and should have been avoided,” he added.

It comes as inquests were opened and adjourned at Westminster Coroner’s Court into the deaths of five victims, with a married couple officially named as among the dead.

Omar Belkadi, 32, died from inhaling fire fumes, while his wife, Farah Hamdan, 31, was killed by smoke inhalation.

They lived on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower with their daughters Malek, seven, Tazmin, six, and Leena, just six months old.

The two eldest daughters were found in hospital by family members but the fate of their youngest girl remains unknown.

Abufars Ibrahim, 39, died of multiple injuries, while Anthony Disson, 65, and a 52-year-old woman, Khadija Khalloufi, both died from inhalation of fire fumes.

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