Housing minister comes face-to-face with angry Grenfell Tower survivors

Written by Rod Muir on 28 June 2017 in Diary

Watch: Alok Sharma was told to drop the platitudes.

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have vented their anger at housing minister Alok Sharma.

Sharma was meeting with a group of residents in North Kensington live on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show.

When asked to set out exactly what steps the government was talking to rehouse people, Sharma initially tried to talk instead about about "the bravery that people are showing in coming forward and the dignity".

But the minister was quickly forced to change his tune when disgruntled residents demanded that he dropped the "platitudes".





Oluwaseun Talabi escaped the 14th floor of the burning tower with his family two weeks ago. As he confronted the Tory minister, he had to be held back by a fellow resident.

He insisted: "I am not moving my child. If you don’t give me that, I am not going to accept it. I am not just going to take any house near me, it has to be suitable.

"I was happy in my house, I work hard, I work hard. I had a good house. Don’t give me any rubbish, I won’t accept it."





Another resident asked: "Why is it OK that there are thousands of empty homes in this area and people are homeless?"

And Sharma was also told that there were concerns of "social cleansing" if residents were moved out of the borough.

Asked whether Talabi and other survivors would be given quality, permanent accommodation, Sharma said: “Yes, of course we are going to make sure everyone is in good quality accommodation.”

He later added: "Anyone whose home has been destroyed will be housed by next week in good accommodation, which is acceptable to them."

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