The government is accused of a ‘cover up’ behind Grenfell fire

Office Files Bindersource: Socialist Worker
published: 8 December 2021

The inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people in 2017 has heard the government carried out a “deliberate cover-up” over the dangers from combustible materials.

The final stage of the public inquiry is now looking at the role of government figures and what happened around building regulations. Combustible materials used for housing were not scrutinised as a result of decades of deregulation.

Stephanie Barwise QC said Grenfell was the result of the government’s “unbridled passion for deregulation” and a “prolonged period of concealment”. Michael Mansfield QC, representing some of the bereaved and survivors, said the government [simply] saw health and safety laws “as an obstruction to businesses”.

He said former Tory prime minister David Cameron should appear at the inquiry for his part in slashing health and safety regulations. In 2012 he made a speech promising to “kill off the health and safety culture for good” describing it as “an albatross around the neck of British businesses”.

Cameron didn’t believe health and safety was “how a great nation was built” and “Britannia didn’t rule the waves with armbands on”.

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