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Grenfell survivors refuse meeting with Jenrick over Westferry development scandal

GRENFELL survivors have refused to meet Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick because he is putting developers first in the Westferry scandal.

In a letter published at the weekend, Grenfell United said Mr Jenrick’s decision to wave through a development for Tory donor Richard Desmond had soured members’ opinion of him. 

The Housing Secretary’s actions meant Mr Desmond avoided paying £45 million to Tower Hamlets that would have been spent on local projects. 

The survivors group accused Mr Jenrick of putting the “interests of property developers over the needs of an impoverished local community,” the same attitude believed by many to have led to the Grenfell Tower fire.

“It tells us you have learnt nothing from your previous interactions and conversations with Grenfell United committee members, who lost so much on the night of the fire,” the letter reads. 

Grenfell survivor and family groups have expressed increasing frustration and hurt due to government actions in recent weeks. 

At the weekend, groups criticised ongoing Covid-19 restrictions barring them from the inquiry into the disaster, which has restarted after a summer break. 

Karim Mussilhy, whose uncle Rahman died in the fire, told the Guardian: “I walk into Nando’s and everyone is casual, people are squashed on to beaches, I can go into a pub and have a pint without a mask, but I can’t come into the public inquiry.” 

The bereaved have only been able to watch the proceedings via  a video link since the coronavirus outbreak. 

A government scheme to create a memorial for victims of the fire is also being boycotted by some relatives who claimed they have been “whitewashed” from the project and sidelined. 


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