On the two-year anniversary of the Grenfell fire on Friday – Britain’s worst blaze in decades in which at least 72 people died – many people expressed grief and frustration over the failure to improve safety in social housing.
The west London tower block inferno sent shockwaves around Britain, leading to a public inquiry – which is ongoing – and a separate police investigation that could result in criminal charges, while Britons debate community cohesion.
Here are some quotes from people affected by the blaze.
NATASHA ELCOCK, CHAIRWOMAN, GRENFELL UNITED, SURVIVORS’ GROUP
“If we want to stop another Grenfell fire, we need serious change – change that will genuinely make a difference to people living in social housing.
“The government introduced a new regime for the banking industry after the financial crash, it should be doing the same for the housing sector. After all, what could be more important than people’s homes?”
MATT WRACK, GENERAL SECRETARY, FIRE BRIGADES UNION
“Countless homes are still wrapped in flammable materials, while warnings from tenants about risks to their safety go ignored.
“We risk sleepwalking into another catastrophic loss of life. We demand urgent action from government to ensure that the events of Grenfell Tower can never happen again.”
MIKE LONG, REVEREND, NOTTING HILL METHODIST CHURCH
“The news story this anniversary is that there is no news – a sense that little is happening, at least that is visible, when the enquiries and investigations will still take a long time to deliver results.
“The waiting and uncertainty is very hard for many people.”
JAMES BROKENSHIRE, HOUSING MINISTER
“This government is determined to improve building safety, to search for the truth and to ensure no such tragedy can ever happen again.
“I know the community are still grieving as they await answers and justice … I am committed to continuing to support the community and remembering those whose lives were lost.” Read more