This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
CHANCELLOR Sajid Javid’s “Brexit red-tape challenge” will fuel the deregulation agenda that led to the Grenfell tragedy, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) warned today.
Mr Javid has announced that he will use the Budget on March 11 to launch a public and business consultation to propose ways in which the British government could “improve or remove” EU laws.
He described the process of diverging from the EU’s rule book as “competition.”
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The Grenfell Tower fire was an atrocity born of deregulation, privatisation and austerity.
“It is reckless and dangerous for the Chancellor to launch a ‘red-tape challenge’ just as the Grenfell Inquiry is shining a light on the consequences of previous deregulatory initiatives.”
Mr Wrack said that a “clear line can be drawn” from the 72 lives lost to consecutive governments’ decisions to slash red tape in housing, construction, building-safety, and fire-safety.
He said: “The Chancellor is throwing red meat to the Tory party at the expense of public safety.
“We cannot allow the toxic culture of deregulation to do more damage.”
The FBU has highlighted the history of deregulation leading to Grenfell in a pamphlet, including how the Thatcher government cut building regulations from over 300 pages to just 25 — followed by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government cutting the fire budget by around 28 per cent in real terms.
The online material also details how warnings from previous fires, which raised the risks seen at Grenfell, were ignored, including the Harrow Court fire in 2005, the Lakanal House fire in 2009 and the Shirley Towers Fire in 2010.
The union’s warning comes amid the ongoing Grenfell Inquiry, which has faced numerous recent controversies.
Yesterday, the inquiry sought a government pledge to prevent any evidence given in person during the hearings by staff involved in the tower block's refurbishment from being used against them in criminal proceedings.
Many witnesses had threatened to stay silent by claiming the legal right of privilege against self-incrimination, which could affect a full body of evidence from being heard.
If granted, the undertaking would not provide total immunity from prosecution or cover statements or documents submitted to the inquiry.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.