• Sunday, June 26, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Boris Johnson leads virtual tribute at third anniversary of Grenfell Tower fire

People stand and pay their respects in front of a wall where messages of support have been written, surrounding Grenfell tower in west London on June 14, 2020, on the third anniversary of the high-rise fire that killed 71 people. – Sunday marks three years since a small kitchen fire in the west London high-rise turned into the most deadly domestic blaze since World War II. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Sarwar Alam

British prime minister Boris Johnson was on Sunday (14) joined by Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer to mark the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, which claimed 72 lives in the west London residential block in June 2017.

The tribute event, “Grenfell for Humanity”, was held virtually, given the coronavirus pandemic social distancing norms in place, with Johnson and Starmer sending in their video messages.

“While those affected by Grenfell are not able to gather in person, all of us in this country are with you in spirit,” said Johnson.

“We can all remember where we were three years ago today when we saw this tragedy unfolding on our screens and across the London skyline. As a nation, we are still dealing with the consequences of what happened and working to make sure it never happens again,” he said.

The Opposition Labour Party said it estimates that 56,000 people were still living in homes wrapped in the same flammable cladding that was found responsible for the Grenfell fire tragedy.

“In the midst of their suffering, the Grenfell community came together to campaign for justice, safe homes and change. Because no one should ever go through the loss and pain they experienced,” said Starmer.

“But three years on and, unbelievably, tonight people will go to bed in unsafe homes. Three years on and there has been little justice or accountability. Three years on their campaign continues. I support Grenfell United. We can all learn from their strength and determination,” he said.

In a written statement, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he would be relentless in ensuring the Grenfell community get justice and that Londoners would feel safe in their homes.

“While struggling with their own personal grief and recovery, they have continued to campaign for building safety and are demanding change to keep others safe in their homes,” he said, in reference to the Grenfell United pressure group.

Conservative Party MP Theresa May, who was Prime Minister at the time of the fire, said in a Twitter statement that Parliament, “must do all we can” to help the survivors. “Their loved ones must not be forgotten,” she said.

In memory of each person who died, bells of London churches will toll 72 times on Sunday evening and people across London have been asked to shine green lights from windows in tribute.

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