The general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union has criticised the Prime Minister for saying that buildings caught up in the building safety crisis are ‘not unsafe’, apparently without justification, and that the victims of the building crisis were ‘in a position of unnecessary anxiety’.
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: ‘The Prime Minister’s comments are dangerous. Buildings that continue to be affected by this crisis are far from safe: as this year’s Providence Wharf fire showed, even buildings with waking watches can pose a severe danger to life. Any anxiety over this situation is utterly justified, and to suggest anything else is an insult to victims of this crisis.
‘His comments run the risk of slowing down progress on remediating these buildings, progress his government should be driving forward but has not. That’s left hundreds of thousands of people in fear of dying in a fire, and many of those facing life-changing debt.
‘The Prime Minister should apologise for and retract his comments at once.’
The comments came at Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday, 3 November, in response to a question from Paul Blomfield MP on the Prime Minister previously saying that a constituent of his had a ‘frankly unnecessary sense of anxiety’, despite her being a victim of the building safety crisis without remediation and with a severe financial burden.
The Prime Minister also said that ‘what people should be doing is making sure that we do not unnecessarily undermine the confidence of the market and the people in these homes’.
The Fire Brigades Union has campaigned for an end to the building safety crisis, on the grounds of the threat it poses to both the public and to firefighters who may be called to attend fires in affected buildings.