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Saturday 21 September 2019

Stars team up with Grenfell survivors to launch new campaign

The group is calling for a new regulator for social housing to reform the system and remove dangerous cladding from buildings.

(Rick Findler/PA)
(Rick Findler/PA)

By Joe Gammie, Press Association

Adele, Stormzy and other stars have joined with Grenfell survivors to call on the Government to remove “dangerous cladding” from buildings.

The stars – including Marcus Mumford and Akala – have joined forces with Grenfell United, the survivors and families bereaved by the fire, in an appeal for national change.

In a video released on Thursday evening, the group said there are 441 buildings that still have “dangerous Grenfell-style cladding” on them.

The group is calling for a new regulator for social housing to reform the system and remove dangerous cladding from buildings.

Opening the film, rapper Stormzy said “this is not a charity film, this is a clarity film”, followed by families and supporters talking about the impact of the fire.

They said: “We are not asking for money, we are not asking for sympathy, we are demanding change.

Stormzy, who has joined with other stars and Grenfell United to produce a new video (Ian West/PA)

“Change so families up and down country are safe in their homes. Change so that people, no matter where they live, are treated with dignity and respect.”

The video brought together more than 50 survivors and bereaved relatives with community supporters for the special shoot.

Karim Mussilhy, vice-chair of Grenfell United, said that 18 months on from the tower fire where 72 people died there had been no changes on the ground.

He added: “We are approaching the second Christmas since our loved ones died at Grenfell, but we’ve seen little change on the ground and people around the country are still living in buildings with dangerous cladding.

“Too often, people in social housing are treated with indifference by people who have a duty to care for them.

“Dangerous cladding needs to be taken off buildings and we need a new regulator for social housing to reform the system so people are listened to and treated with respect.

Karim Mussilhy, whose uncle Hesham Rahman died on the 21st floor of Grenfell Tower (Victoria Jones/PA)

“We lost our loved ones, but it’s not too late for others. We can’t sit back while there is a risk another tragedy like Grenfell could happen again – that’s why we’re fighting for national change.”

The appeal comes at the end of the last week of phase one of the Grenfell Inquiry.

Mr Mussilhy said the inquiry had already shown “beyond doubt” that the 72 people were unlawfully killed.

He added: “The Grenfell Inquiry has already shown beyond doubt that our families were neglected, ignored and given cheap materials that turned theirs homes into a death trap.

“Seventy-two people were unlawfully killed and people across the country are still living in unsafe buildings, change cannot wait.”

Grenfell United is urging people to support its campaign at support.grenfellunited.org.

PA Media

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