Grenfell families urge prosecutions over ‘inadequate’ fire brigade preparation

Relatives of those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire have called for prosecutions after a damning report said London Fire Brigade (LFB) breached national guidelines through “gravely inadequate” preparation.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the absence of a plan to evacuate the tower was a “major omission” by the LFB and more lives could have been saved had the “stay-put” policy been abandoned sooner.

Bereaved family members said it was “heartbreaking” that more of their loved ones could have been saved, but some organisations questioned Grenfell inquiry chairman Sir Martin’s assertion that evacuation would have been possible.

Some of his 46 recommendations require “urgent action” from the Government and others with responsibility for the “oversight and direction” of the emergency services, he said in a letter to the Prime Minister.

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost two family members in the blaze, told an emotional press conference: “I think it’s quite evident that the whole LFB … is in the hands of people that are incapable of their jobs. They should be discharged of it.

“They’re responsible for a lot of lives and they don’t care much.

“They should be prosecuted. I’m not saying individual firemen, they do a hard job… but the seniors at the top get good money to do a very serious job.”

Dany Cotton
Dany Cotton (Yui Mok/PA)

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton said many recommendations were welcome and would be “carefully and fully” considered by senior officers.

She has resisted calls for her to resign, and said the brigade was “fully cooperating” with the police.

Asked about accusations she was “criminally negligent”, Ms Cotton told Sky News: “I think it is right that the police are the ones who will look into that.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the House of Commons observed a minute’s silence in memory of the 72 victims of the June 2017 fire.

PA Graphics
(PA Graphics)

Wearing a green Grenfell heart on his lapel, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the local community’s “exceptional tenacity” in seeking justice has “not always been matched by their faith in the system’s ability to deliver”.

He said: “This is no surprise.

“After all, they have been let down many times before, too often overlooked and ignored in the months and years before the tragedy, and shamefully failed by the institutions that were supposed to serve them in the days and weeks after it.”

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