Kensington is a tale of two cities – Corbyn statement after visiting tower block blaze

This is the full statement published by Jeremy Corbyn following his visit to the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire.

I feel very angry that it was possible for the fire to spread in the way it did. I feel very angry that so many have lives have been lost when the system didn’t work.

The many residents I met today are very angry too; their concerns about the building were not responded to and their questions were not answered.

They asked me to speak for them when I get back to Parliament and I will make sure I do, alongside their new MP Emma Dent Coad.

There are thousands of tower blocks around our country. Every single person living in one today will be frightened. They need answers to provide them with security and peace of mind.

Kensington is a tale of two cities – it is among the wealthiest parts of this country but the ward where this took place is one of the poorest.

The judge-led public inquiry must be speedy and all residents should have access to legal aid and the support they need.

Residents must also be re-housed, using requisition of empty properties if necessary, in the community they love.

I would like to give thanks to the firefighters who risked their lives to save the lives of others, and the police and the paramedics who did the same.

Some hard questions need to be answered. It cannot be right that in the 21st century a fire like this happens.

It’s the responsibility of government to tell us why the lessons of Camberwell, Southampton and Shepherds Bush have not been learned.

There must be a proper ministerial statement in the Commons when the Commons is once again sitting and the government must also immediately make sure the families affected have the resources they need.

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