Theresa May’s new Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd, was among the 72 Tory MPs – who are also residential landlords – that voted against a motion to make homes “fit for human habitation.”

Many people have been reposting articles about the debate in Parliament last January in light of today’s tragedy at Grenfell Tower.

Labour submitted an amendment to the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill designed to ensure all rental properties were “fit for human habitation.”

The need to improve fire prevention was explicitly set out by then Shadow Housing Minister Teresa Pearce. Proposing the amendment, she said:

“New clause 53 is about safety and would introduce a requirement for landlords to undertake electrical safety checks. Many organisations from across the sector support the measure, such as the Local Government Association, the London fire brigade, Shelter, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, British Gas, Crisis and the Fire Officers Association. They have all given their support in the past to measures that will see the introduction of mandatory electrical safety checks.

“It is estimated that electricity causes more than 20,000 house fires each year, leading to about 350 serious injuries and 70 deaths across the UK. Carbon monoxide, gas leaks and other fires and explosions cause fewer deaths and injuries, with 300 injuries and 18 deaths—these risks remain serious and it is right that we should continue to monitor them, but that shows what is at stake as regards electrical fires in the home.”

Labour’s amendment was defeated with the help of the 72 Tory MPs who top up their Parliamentary salaries as landlords.

Hurd, who makes at least £20,000 a year rental income from a 2 bedroom flat in Ruislip and a house in London, was among them.

Today, as Police and Fire Minister, he is leading the Government’s response to the Grenfell tragedy…

  1. Get out there to the people who need help if you greedy slimy bastards have empty houses, flats or whatever empty give theses tragic people of this horrendouse situation somewhere to live until you sort this mess out once and for all, if you have not got anything empty arrange for them to be put up in a hotel paid for from this greedy government

  2. Dennis ford says:

    I am sure their will be plenty of empty properties in London that can be found to support these homeless families at least in the short term come on you Tory landlords it’s time to step up and show what your made of

  3. Mandy Pearson says:

    They don’t give a shit and never will!!, their attitude has always been ‘I’m alright Jack!!’…

  4. there is no magic property tree or no magic money tree because the Tory toss potts keep most of it to feed their inhuman greed

  5. He’s going to be impartial in his investigations then? This is a tragic state of affairs…

  6. Eileen Foulner says:

    With all the appalling corruption and self interested greed displayed over the last few years by Tory MPs how can anyone vote for them. The fact that they themselves vote Tory means they to are culpable for the deaths and suffering of so many as a result of Tory cuts. If they are Christian like Teresa then let them remember God Knows and Sees all – so lord help you.

  7. gavin bailey says:

    Move them into an army camp, they can all be fed in the mess and blankets duvets etc are all there, then sort each family, they don’t deserve to be messed about they have lost everything.

  8. fred lundberg says:

    These sort of details need ramming home & not forgotten.
    No point in them shouting they did a multi million pound investment when it had to have been known (if anyone did their homework) that there were doubts already with similar cladding products :(… Major fires have hit several Dubai high-rises in recent years and spread quickly, mostly due to flammable material used in cladding, a covering or coating used on the side of the buildings Source “The New Arab”

  9. Tories party will always be for the well educated white middle classes they just dnt give a fuck they have incited hate in all of us so we hate each and want us to be just out for our self’s like they are what happened to humanity and loving thy neighbour.

  10. The Tory way is to suppress those who they can in whatever way they can. Corruption, self interest and sharp practice fill the building trade and letting trade. It is time to remove them from power, she doesn’t have a majority and only by being getting into bed with the DUP who are questionable at best can she survive. it’s time for change.

  11. Stephen Taylor says:

    Another example of the depth of corruption in this little banana republic floating off the coast of Europe.
    Honest to God, there’s not enough walls for these bastards

  12. Rosalie Walker says:

    Tragic accident which must be investigated.Where are the sprinklers?Where are the gov regulations?why were so many fire stations closed down?Many more questions to be answered by Hurd the fire minister.

  13. Steve Reynolds says:

    The tories have gradually dismantled the social housing sector, effectively privatising it and lining the pockets of private landlords. ( I have worked in social housing all my career.m). They have also deregulated the private sector to increase profit. And where will you find a lot of private landlords? – oh yes, the Tory party and their financial backers. What a coincidence.

  14. It needs a completely independent enquiry with no one on the board that is implicated in any way whatsoever with this tragic incident….

  15. This looks to have been transformed from a small fire which would have easily been brought under control, to an inferno by the combustible cladding used on the outside in a recent refurbishment.

    This cladding would have conformed to the regulations, yet is clearly not fit for purpose and fulfills no structural purpose, solely cosmetic.

    Surely the real urgency is to get such cladding removed from all other buildings and to investigate how this stuff got passed as being safe by the regulators. You cannot hold the property owner responsible when the primary cause of the disaster was something that the regulations deemed to be safe.

    It is currently unclear whether alarms and sprinkler systems were fitted (which they should have been) or whether they were faulty. Unfortunately, when these things get set off frequently by burning the toast, they tend to be disabled, either by the property owner or residents.

  16. The cladding used will have had to be approved by the councils planning dept. A labour council is it not ?

  17. I assume the planning application which would have a fire strategy section must have been approved by the local council too?

  18. Gordon batheram says:

    There are thousands of empty properties bought up by foreign investors and purposely left empty until sold on for profit-this futher squeezes the number of properties for rental and to buy-pushing up the prices which lines the pockets of estate agents and investors-the circle continues pricing people out of getting on the property ladder-got to stop foreign investors buying up london by introducing laws to limit ownership if the people dont live in the country!-its an absolute scandal there are so many unused properties which could certainly alleviate the citys affordable housing shortages-govt legislation needs to limit foreign ownership!

  19. This property was mot fit for purpose. It fitted the Bill to let out but melted like plastic when it went on fire!!!! Someone has to be held accountable. It reminded me on 9/11. And that was caused by terrorists. What do we call the owners of this building? ‘Millionaires’

  20. I live in a social housing tower block, there aren’t any sprinklers in this building . By the way this is a supported housing building with a lot of severely disabled residents. I’ve worked for a lot of council and housing associations in London and I’ve never seen sprinklers in any.

  21. This happened to a building in Melbourne Aust. The builders used substandard, non fire rated cladding and pocketed the difference.

  22. Frank leach says:

    There are still lots of comment saying this is a labour council, it’s not it’s Tory. However it is a labour ward. According to Wikipedia there a about 40 Tory councillors and 9 labour.

  23. Angela Liddell says:

    Policy needs to be about prevention and not just services. Can someone please explain why toxic and flammable materials are being used in any building at all….?

  24. Marilyn Linwood says:

    More Tory greed & arrogance. There is no end to the tragedy & damage this government has caused to ordinary people in Britain.Hope is running out…

  25. There’s plenty out there look st the building s that are blocked up all over the country ( no excuse for people not to have homes in 2017 !!!!!

  26. And this man just got kept his seat in the recent election in Northwood and Ruislip. His adress on the ballot paper said Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

  27. This was a council property if I undersrand correctly. There should be national safety standards that apply to both social and private rental housing equally. Councils should have to conform to the same standards as private landlords.

  28. I think it’s disgusting that some people are using this tragedy as an excuse to rerun the general election. The Tories or anyone else can’t be blamed for every disaster – natural or otherwise. In an ideal world we’d all live in a modern detached house with a garden but who is going to pay for it – particularly in London where there’s no room to build anything anyway?

  29. In a state of shock knowing that a person threw her baby out of a window knowing that they would be dead before morning . It so reminds me of 9/11 and the lingering memories of a terrorist attack in New York. This latest event was NOT a terrorist attack. I don’t know how to find a suitable label. “Careless Capitalism” sounds too friendly. Murder sounds right just now. Please let this be a lesson for all of us who have allowed this to happen & blame “foreign terrorists” for our protection we must be able to know the difference & fix our solutions.

  30. I love these comments….the truth is being revealed how those in power make the laws and rules to fit themselves! I THINK WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS GREED FROM EVERYWHERE.. CO OPERATE GREED..IT PERMEATES INTO POLITICS AND PEOPLE’S LIVES WITH DEVASTING EFFECTS

  31. I think the Scottish vote result is really dodgy. They voted to remain in the EU and yet, the Tory swing in Scotland was sizeable. Is it a coincidence that a private company, of which a Tory is director, that was responsible for the vote counting? Hmm. I notice that when Theresa May visited the area today, she was photographed talking to the emergency services staff. Didn’t see her walking among and chatting to the public, as Jeremy Corbyn did.

  32. What a load of paranoid cobblers! The Scottish voted conservative ( and labour) in greater numbers this time purely in order to get another independence referendum off the agenda. As for brexit – yes Scotland did vote to remain in Europe, and would again if asked the question in a second EU referendum. However, if the rest of the UK is leaving Europe, now is not the time to seek independence outside of both the UK and the EU ( who said Scotland can’t negotiate a deal on its own ). Or to put it another way … if the uk is abandoning the ship for a lifeboat, it’s not a good idea to jump off the lifeboat with a rubber ring! PS I live in Scotland so I know what I’m talking about.

  33. tellingitstraight says:

    What the hell has this article got to do with the London tragedy? Just another tired old excuse to bash landlords and tories on the back of the most spurious of stories. A periodic electrical check costs about 150 quid, which is pennies. The reason why they didn’t accept the labour amendment was because there’s already enough legislation in place about safety in rented properties. Enforcement is the issue, not more legislation, but hey, you lot crack on, with any weak link you can find to have a dig. Just showing your ignorance and blinkered attitudes. Come on then brain farts, of those reported 70 deaths, how many were actually in rented properties and were actually due to an avoidable incident the landlord could have prevented. I’ll tell you the answer, you can count it on the fingers of one foot…

  34. AngryWomanInNorfolk says:

    Why is Nick Hurd leading this if he has had his finger in the pie already? As a councillor if you have had dealings you have to declare an interest. Why were the emergency funds not triggered immediately rather than sitting there debating this – there is never a question when it is sending money as overseas aid.

    People need answers and we all know how long it took for Hilsborough. No doubt there will be cover ups and those in authority will be covering their tracks. It’s not good enough and people need answers.

    High rise blocks house businesses too and no one would expect employees to sit tight and be saved – companies have emergency procedures, just why weren’t these in place for these poor people in Grenfell Tower?

    I hope that someone from Grenfell has recorded conversations to show exactly what awful harassment they have had to live under – heads will roll and they should be sacked!!

  35. It’s a shame the ignorance that is shown of the facts. There is a huge disparity in the protection level required by councils and imposed by them on the private sector and that of the properties owned by local authorities/ the councils . Properties owned by private landlords are required to have much more protection than the council owned properties. There is also an argument by some councils that houses rented out privately should NOT have fire extinguishers or fire blankets unless one of the householders is trained in the use thereof (Health and Safety) and unless this is the case they should be removed. Able bodied students etc and those living in the privately owned sector are deemed to be ‘vulnerable’ yet those living in council owned properties are not ,even though they well may be …

  36. I just hope that lessons are learned from this especially by landlords, who are responsible for their buildings, be they council or private. This tragedy could have been diverted if landlords, and this Tory government were more concerned with the citizens of this Country, rarher than their greedy selves. It is disgusting behaviour by our so called Government, and I think all those involved, either Landlords or MPs, in refusing to make these buildings safe, and the MPs involved in cutting the fire stations, and all to do with fire safety, should be made to leave Parliament and their constituencies, as they have prooved they are not reliable to do a good job for the people. Only goo for feathering their own nests, which I bet have every safety measure in place.

  37. John winstanley says:

    His performance at committee today was that of a guilty (Tory) landlord-shifty ,nervy,hope he is before the beak as their test case.corporate manslaughter for me ,0n your sword Hurd !1

  38. Nigel Hopwood says:

    Just stop and think – maybe they voted against it for proper reasons. Maybe because “fit for human habitation” needs more definition? its still open to plenty of interpretation – either way. Or, maybe because Gas Safety, Electrical safety and other specific requirements are already covered by other Regulations?

  39. With current legislation you have to take landlord to court the terms are very vague & then you need the money for that .. legal aid is no longer given A relative had an oven on fire & found the landlord had bypassed fuses feeding wires into the mains .. landlord is a local councillor so the report doesn’t get acted on Despite property available near to the kids school the relative gets shifted out of the area as the landlord is worried about repercussions if they meet on the streets! We had six years of ‘enquiring’ politely when the mould & rotting windows would be sorted, several months of breathing leaking fuel from the boiler which then came through ceiling have developed related breathing problems Landlord tried to coax the boiler man to put replacement into space that was illegal When we’d had enough & would not pay increased rent we were harassed even having a car driven right at us All reported but seen as private case not criminal Property relet with basic repair to window Hmm

  40. why haven’t the police interviewed the management company responsible for the building and formally charged the Directors with corporate manslaughter there appears to be enough evidence , or is this going to be another Aberfan in 1966 where 100 plus were killed the vast majority young kids , and no one was ever prosecuted even though every man and his dog knew the muckstack was unstable and liable to create a landslide ,

  41. I dont think these dam conservatives are voted back in!!
    I reckon its always fixed somehow!!
    They are about to close 24 Aand E departments one by one!!
    We all need to get on the streets and protest.

  42. What a total waste of space these Tory tossers are, they only care about the rich, no time for the poor.

    They may as well lit the fire.

  43. Don’t know how you sleep at night you money grabbing greedy bastards!
    How anyone can vote for you is beyond me!!!

  44. Only 22% of Con Party MPs voted on a matter in which they had a personal financial interest? What’s the fuss all about then?

  45. Anne Lindsay says:

    There is no Magic Money Tree (unless you have property to rent out and you can stop legislation to protect renters.) Shame on the lot of them! They should all step down.

  46. William Harrison says:

    I am completely mystified as to how anyone (let alone an MP) could vote against making houses fit for habitation. What kind of person does that make you?
    Is there any kins of explanation as to why these 72 voted against? And I don’t just mean because they are bastards.

  47. James Gardiner says:

    The Tories don’t give a fuck for the working classes – let alone the frequently immigrant , usually non-white inhabitants of what’s left of social housing in this country. There’s a surprise!

  48. Lynn robinson says:

    This tragedy is like a 21st century dickens novel of obscene inhumane greed .weve had obscene greed rob BHS workers , bankers playing god with our economy , constant cuts and austerity (for the masses)but this has to be the last straw .To add further insult the greedy bastards running the enquiry will be highly payed for several years to state the obvious .

  49. Margaret Thatcher created the I’m alright Jack society and this tory government are carrying it forward sprinklers in Tower blocks should be part of the fabric of the building just like hotels not as an option it is going to cost the housing test more than the £200,000 it saved on not installing them. Housing trusts have a profit oriented ideology not the wellbeing or safety of the people. I do understand that each flat was able to contain a fire but the sprinkler system should be the first safety measure to contain the fire.

  50. Steve Emery says:

    It is just another Tragic Inditement, It Sadens me so much that so many people do not see and understand that a Tory Government and it’s “I’m alright Jack” ministers are only concerned about the Wealthy Elite, they don’t give a damm about the working class, never have and never will, this is just another case of profit before people, this Man should have No part of any investigation or inquiry, My Heart goes out to Everyone involved in this Tragedy, they all deserve better than this.

  51. Kev, June 15th at 2:46pm

    You might live in Scotland, but your chat is all wishful thinking. There was a “massive” () swing of 13.6% to Tories…to land them 13 seats on the Eastern side of Scotland.

    What happened? Unthinking fishers and farmers bought into th brexbull thinking that they would continue to get their subsidies (which have kept them well cushioned for quite a few years) from Westminster…except-Westminster cannot fulfil those hopes and dreams. The subsidies came from eu. In fact, one subsidy was given to Westminster, to be handed over to Scottish Farmers only. Cameron divide it up between all (right) uk farmers, leaving Scots farmers in the poo. Again. Fishers? With WM at negotiating table, Tories have habitually sold out scots fishermen. Even Mundell said that scots fisherman were “irrelevant”. And the dear, sweet, deluded chumps voted 13 such morons in as MP’s.

    Dear Kev, independence hasn’t been stopped, the ones who spoke most re Indy? Tories!

  52. My heartfelt sorrow and condolences for the family, friends and survivors, of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

  53. Jenifer Trident says:

    Shame that the nasty anti-government mob could not have waited until all the victims have been recovered and a root-cause analysis has been defined. I’m rather disgusted with you. Lack of respect.
    All of a sudden we have fire experts and a jury to hang the PM.

  54. A leading lawyer has said that for the truth to come out about this terrible tragedy there needs to be inquests not a public enquiry – remember Hillsborough. The 96 only got justice when their families were able to go to the inquest with legal representation and cross examine witnesses in front of a jury. Grenfell families and survivors should reject the idea of a public enquiry and demand inquests.

  55. If the 72 tory MPs do have property in London which have empty rooms do you not think they would claim expenses for letting out their properties? Anything to make money out of other peoples’ tragedy.

  56. Looking on from Ireland with a bleeding heart for the poor souls who perished and those waifs left stranded without information about loved ones, no accountability or immediate reporting of the scale of the tragedy and now all the murk and psychopathic inhumanity. It is an international enquiry that is needed. When countries become so corrupt, as is the case in Tory Britain, large fires, like air crashes should be subject to an Independant international investigation immediately following the incident.

  57. They give more money to North Korea in foreign add yearly than money spent on the refurbishment of the flats.

  58. Gh you can trust in the governments we’ve had to make all necessary changes when they learn the cause just like they did for Lakanal house or camberwell or Wandsworth etc, not me though. It’s to sick to go on watching the fire brigade reports, inquests and hse reports kicked around parliament by mp’s forever.

    Without public uproar I believe there would never be the defusing of this nationwide ticking time bomb.

  59. Get all these poor people into the empty flats and houses but they all best be fit for human habitation too though otherwise you’ll be in for it.

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