Housing minister fights back tears during Grenfell House statement
‘The families which I've met have been through unimaginable pain.’
Housing minister Alok Sharma today fought back the tears as he spoke about meeting the survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The minister - who was recently confronted by angry residents - was making his first ever oral statement in the Commons over efforts to rehouse victims of the fire.
The usually loud and boisterous Chamber fell silent as Sharma told how meeting the survivors of the disaster was "the most humbling and moving experience of my life".
Overcome with emotion, the minister was then unable to speak for several seconds.
"The families which I've met have been through unimaginable pain," he said through trembling lips.
After regaining his composure, he declared: "This is a tragedy that should never have happened. And we are determined to do all that we can to make sure that something like this never happens again."
As the minister sat down, he wiped his face with a tissue from his pocket.
Earlier in his statement, Sharma told MPs that "every household that is ready to talk has been offered temporary accommodation".
He also stated: "What matters above all else is what the families want. We need to go at the pace they want to go."
Shadow housing minister said that while Sharma’s words were welcome, it was "the government’s actions which count".
And he argued that the government was "off the pace at every stage following this terrible tragedy".