David Lammy makes claims of Grenfell Tower cover up
The Tottenham MP said: “Within the community, trust in the authorities is falling through the floor and a suspicion of a cover-up is rising.
The Prime Minister needs to act immediately to ensure that all evidence is protected
“We need urgent action now to make sure that all records and documents relating to the refurbishment and management of Grenfell Tower are protected.”
Justice can only done if all records – emails, minutes of meetings, correspondence with contractors, safety assessments, specifications and reports – are preserved, he said.
Labour MP David Lammy has said there are fears of a ‘cover up’ surrounding the Grenfell Tower fire
“At this stage, it is my grave concern that the families of Grenfell Tower will not get justice if documents are being quietly destroyed and shredded and emails are being deleted.”
The police have powers to seize all documents, but Section 35 of the Public Inquiry Act, which makes the destruction of any documents a criminal offence, does not apply until a chairman is appointed and the terms of reference set.
He raged at the idea that the cladding may have helped to spread the fire, which killed his friend, who lived on the 20th floor as she sat in her flat.
He said: “People are very angry. You’ve got to understand that if you’ve watched a building burn down you know that the cladding has been set on fire, you know you’ve reported to the TMO [the management office] that runs the building on many occasions that you believe there is a fire hazard and you’ve been badly supported by the local authority, that trust is low.”
People are angry and demanding answers from the government after a fire engulfed Grenfell Tower
“The questions that were being raised yesterday is what else have they got rid of? Have they deleted e-mails? Have they shredded documents?” he said barely containing his rage.
“There is a police investigation. The police have powers…to seize computers, e-mails and documents. People want to hear whether that is in fact happening.
He talked about the questions that people at the scene of the fire have been asking him saying that they just wanted to know what is going on.
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“But let me be absolutely clear – people have lost their homes! And I have lost a friend. We believe it is a crime what has happened. We have other major events in this country and you get a rolling commentary on what the Met are up too.
“What are they up to in this case? What is Theresa May asking behind the scenes, in terms of these questioning? Have they seized these computers? We know contractors are taking things down from their websites – what else are they up to?
“We know minimum, that 50-odd people have lost their lives. Why is it not appropriate for people who have lost loved to ones to learn a bit more? People are suspicious.”
Mr Lammy called on Theresa May to issue more information about the fire to the public
He fired back that when things involve the state, the government, things are suddenly described as a tragedy.
He said that he fears that people will soon forget the story and move on.
But people need to be held to account.
He described how the fire started at 1am but at 4am Ms Saye was still in her flat, alive, because she was told to stay there.
He asked: “What happened? Why couldn’t she get out? Why did the fire spread from one side of the building across and up because of this cladding?”
“People are furious and so they should be. You would be in these circumstances…told to stay in your flat and found yourself burnt to death.”
Mr Lammy said it was vital that a “proper criminal investigation” was carried out.