Grenfell truth must come out, urges Conservative Kensington MP

By Catrin Picton
December 13 2019, 09.00

Felicity Buchan responded to a campaign dominated by Grenfell Tower by urging her own Conservative government to make the enquiry into the tragedy a top priority.

She also said it was vital for more investment into treatment for mental health.

Ms Buchan won Kensington by just 150 votes, polling 16,768 votes just ahead of Labour’s Emma Dent-Coad’s tally of 16,618 while the Liberal Democrats’ Sam Gyimah gained 9,312.

Ms Buchan said: “I’m delighted that the government is making mental health a priority – we are investing an additional £33.9bn in the NHS, £2.3bn of which will be for mental health provision.”

Mr Gyimah was parachuted into the constituency by the Lib Dems after he defected from the Conservatives as his party saw Kensington as a winnable seat.

In 2017, Ms Dent-Coad won Kensington by just 20 votes – making it England’s closest seat.

Grenfell continues to dominate the discourse in Kensington.

After her victory, Ms Buchan said: “I want to support the North Kensington community who have obviously been through an awful lot in Grenfell tragedy.

“I think it’s critically important that we all look to get to the truth of what happened.

“We accept all of the recommendations of the enquiry.

“I want the truth to come out about Grenfell.

“I want to get to the truth and accept all the findings of the enquiry.

“It was an appalling tragedy, when I heard about it the first thing I did was write to Boris Johnson and ask him to make this a focus of his promotion.

“I want the first phase of the enquiry to be implemented with a sense of urgency.”

As the result was announced, shouts of ‘shame’ were heard from the crowd.

Outgoing MP Ms Dent-Coad said on Grenfell: “The government response has been woeful and the council response has been weak and patchy.”

She had pledged to speak out for the victims of Grenfell in Parliament until every single person felt safe in their home without the fear of a tragedy like Grenfell happening again.

Admitting to suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the Grenfell Tower fire, Ms Dent-Coad said: “We have 11,000 people in the area including myself who have various levels of PTSD and they haven’t been looked after properly so it’s been absolutely woeful.”

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