The fire at Grenfell was a tragedy and we owe it to the victims to make sure it never happens again. I fully realise that people are eager to see changes to fire safety legislation – as am I – and for these reforms to happen quickly, however, it is clear that the Labour Party has sought this week to misrepresent the vote that took place in the House of Commons.
The Fire Safety Bill which was voted on earlier this week is a short bill that sets out the framework to allow the recommendations of the first phase of the Grenfell Inquiry to be implemented, as the Minister made clear it goes hand in hand with the Fire Safety Order consultation which concludes of the 12 October, and the draft Building Safety Bill. This is a matter of legislative sequencing to be properly enacted: in effect a) happens first and then b) and then c) and so on. The Labour Party amendment attempted to put c) before a).
If the proposed amendment passed, it would not speed up the process for the necessary changes to be made to legislation, rather it risked delaying its implementation. It would have cut across the current consultation and opened the possibility of legal challenges, possibly leading to the requiring of the formation of a new consultation. In addition to this, not only is the ongoing consultation proposing to implement the recommendations as set out by the Inquiry but to go further still to protect residents. Therefore, this amendment has been misrepresenting and misusing legislative time that could be properly used to pass well-thought regulations.
It is plain to see that this is a shameful attempt by the Labour Party to politically point-score and make disingenuous claims to detract from the clear process that the Government has set out to right this tragedy and to ensure that an event such as this never happens again. My Colleague the MP for Kensington Felicity Buchan is a tireless campaigner for the victim of Grenfell, and I am appalled that such disparaging comments were made of her efforts to help her constituents through these patently difficult times.
Her and I know that is the Government's clear intention to follow through on the recommendations of phase one of the Grenfell fire inquiry and this Bill is part of that process. To suggest otherwise is misleading. I am determined to see the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations implemented swiftly and without delay.