Two Conservative MPs have been sharply criticised for voting against an amendment to implement the recommendations of the official Grenfell Inquiry.
Jason McCartney MP for Colne Valley and Mark Eastwood MP for Dewsbury were among 317 Tories who voted down a Labour amendment to the fire safety bill.
The final vote in the House of Commons on Monday September 7th was 318 against and 188 in favour, a margin of 130.
Labour’s Tracy Brabin MP Batley and Spen voted in favour.
The amendment would have put into law the fire safety recommendations made during phase one of the inquiry when the final bill gained royal assent.
Those recommendations include:
- Requiring owners or managers of flats to share information with their local fire service about the design and materials of external walls
- A requirement to carry out regular inspections of lifts and individual flat entrance doors with evacuation and fire safety instructions shared with residents of the building.
When asked why they voted against the amendment Mr Eastwood said:
“Labour’s amendment last night was cynical political point-scoring. The fire at Grenfell was a tragedy and must never be allowed to happen again. The Government is putting forward legislation that allows the 1st Phase recommendations of the Grenfell Inquiry to be implemented. The Fire Safety Order consultation ends on October 12 and Labour’s amendment risked pre-empting the conclusion of the consultation. It is important that we get the details right. Along with Ministers, I am committed to making sure we faithfully implement the 1st Phase recommendations of the Grenfell Inquiry. ”
Reaction to the vote was immediate, and scathing.
On Twitter the Fire Brigades Union shared their anger at the outcome of the vote:
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called it “a shameful dereliction of duty”.
Former MPs Thelma Walker and Paula Sherriff were among those venting their anger on social media.
Ms Sheriff, the Labour MP for Dewsbury from 2015 to 2019, wrote: “I knew my MP would faithfully toe the party line come what may, but to find he voted against implementing the Grenfell inquiry recommendations makes me feel sick.
“Meeting Grenfell survivors will stay with me forever and I’m so sorry that they continue to be let down.”
Mrs Walker, who snatched Colne Valley for Labour in 2017 but lost the seat in 2019, wrote: “I heard the Grenfell Tower survivors’ stories and also met officers from the FBU. I shall never forget the trauma, so visible, on their faces.
“My MP chose to ignore the Grenfell Inquiry recommendations. Shame on him!”
The Grenfell tower block in North Kensington, London, was engulfed by fire in June 2017.
The disaster killed 72 people.