Wednesday 18 October 2017

WATCH: British Housing Minister fights back tears recalling Grenfell Tower stories

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Agences

UK Housing minister Alok Sharma fought back tears as he recalled speaking to Grenfell Tower disaster survivors, telling MPs of his desire to ensure "something like this never happens again".

The Conservative frontbencher's voiced cracked and he paused as he neared the end of his remarks.

He appeared overcome with emotion as he said hearing the “harrowing accounts” of those who escaped the blaze has been the "most humbling and moving experience of my life".

Mr Sharma was providing an update to the Commons on efforts to rehouse survivors affected by the devastating fire, with Wednesday marking the three-week deadline set by Prime Minister Theresa May to temporarily rehouse every former Grenfell Tower resident.

MPs were told 14 have accepted offers of temporary accommodation, with three families having already moved into their properties.

Mr Sharma said 158 families from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk have been identified as needing such housing, with 139 receiving offers while the remaining 19 families "have not yet been ready to engage" in the process.

Mr Sharma said: “Hearing the harrowing accounts of survivors has been the most humbling and moving experience of my life.

"The families that I’ve met have been through unimaginable pain, this is a tragedy (that) should never have happened.

"And we are determined to do all that we can to make sure something like this never happens again."

The Reading West MP wiped his brow as he sat back on the frontbench.

Belfast Telegraph

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