'Further expenses' will be covered for Grenfell Tower victims, Government vows

The Government has pledged to cover "further expenses" for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, on top of the £5 million already promised.

First Secretary of State Damian Green told BBC Breakfast that as well as the "initial emergency fund", central government would cover extra costs for those affected by the blaze.

"Obviously one imagines there will be further expenses of various kinds, that of course we will meet," he said.

When pressed on whether he was guaranteeing the Government would pay those further costs, he said yes.

In an interview on Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Green said the £5 million emergency fund had been "mentioned as though that's the total figure".

"Other money may be needed for longer term restoration," he added.

Mr Green, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, also promised that the Government would pay for residents' legal representation at a public inquiry to ensure they "have a voice in setting the terms of reference".

He also reiterated the Government's promise to rehouse those displaced by the fire within three weeks, either in Kensington, or neighbouring boroughs.

When pressed on Theresa May's response to the fire, which has been criticised after she did not face the public during visits to the Grenfell site, Mr Green insisted she was as "distraught as anyone".

He said the Prime Minister had met residents and heard their "heart-rending stories".

However, Mr Green would not say whether other tower blocks would be retrofitted with sprinkler systems in light of the tragedy.

"We will follow the recommendations of the public inquiry," he said.

Read Full Story