Diane Abbott: Hundreds died in Grenfell Tower due to Tory attitudes to social housing

Tributes left near to the Grenfell Tower fire in west London. PIC: PA
Tributes left near to the Grenfell Tower fire in west London. PIC: PA
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Hundreds of people died in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Diane Abbott has said.

The shadow home secretary said she expected the death toll to be well above the 79 so far confirmed by the authorities, and blamed the disaster on Conservative attitudes to social housing.

Yellow ribbons tied to railings near to the Grenfell Tower fire in west London. PIC: PA

Yellow ribbons tied to railings near to the Grenfell Tower fire in west London. PIC: PA

“Grenfell House (sic) is not just an accident; Grenfell House is not just an unfortunate incident. Those hundreds of people that died is a direct consequence of Tory attitudes in social housing,” she told a conference of the Labour Progress group.

Ms Abbott said the Tories see residents in social housing as “second-class citizens”.

Ms Abbott said: “The Tories think people in social housing are second-class citizens. And, as we have seen from Grenfell House, they are offering them second-class standards of safety. So, a direct consequence of that. A direct consequence of outsourcing ... and a direct consequence of deregulation.”

Speaking after the event, Ms Abbott said: “I think we are going to find that the numbers of people that have died will be in triple figures, just because it’s a 23-storey (sic) block.”

Ms Abbott said people in Government needed to answer questions about why they did not implement recommendations made after previous fires.