Siobhan Benita

Statement: Siobhan Benita reponds to Grenfell Tower fire report

The Liberal Democrats' London spokesperson, Siobhan Benita, reponds to the Grenfell Tower fire report

"It's very troubling, and particuarly upsetting for relatives, to learn that lives might have been saved if people hadn't been told to stay put in the burning building. The report's criticism of the inadequate training for firefighters and control room staff, the failure of the communication system on the night and the lack of an evacuation plan are all issues that need to be urgently addressed if we are to prevent another heart-breaking tragedy from occurring. It's inexcusable that lessons hadn't already been learnt from the Lakanal House fire in Camberwell in 2009 and that mistakes made in responding to that fire were repeated at Grenfell.

I can understand the frustration of Grenfell families that they still have to wait for answers about the devastating role played in this tragedy by the cladding and the refurbishment programme. 

But what is already clear is that it that we need to make sure that all our buildings in London, whether tower blocks or low-rise, meet the highest standards and vital measures like water sprinklers, alarm systems and evacuation procedures are put in place as soon as possible. We must also have tougher safety standards and enforcement on electrical products and better recall procedures for dangerous electrical goods. And most importantly, we need to ensure our fire service is properly funded, trained and equipped so that our courageous firefighters can do an unimaginably difficult job with the best possible outcomes."