Grenfell lawyer says Cameron must explain ‘health and safety monster’ comments

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A lawyer has said that David Cameron should appear before the Grenfell Tower investigation after making remarks that “ridiculed” health and safety in the years before the fire.

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The former prime minister made speeches about red tape and regulation, which had effectively removed citizens to “bonfires”, said a barrister representing some of the bereaved and survivors.

Michael Mansfield QC told the public inquiry into the 2017 fire, which claimed 72 lives, that Mr Cameron must appear at the hearing to explain what his words meant.


In 2010, Mr Cameron said he wanted to “abolish the health and safety regulations that keep people away”, Mr Mansfield said, and the following year was followed by a “shadow” of health and safety holding people back. , saying that this was not “how a great nation was made” and that “Britania did not rule the waves with a bandage on their arms”.

Mr Mansfield said such speeches were “ridiculous, humiliating health and safety, and effectively blaming citizens for bonfires”.

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He needs to be here to answer what he meant

Michael Mansfield QC

He cited Mr Cameron in 2012 as a “health and safety monster”.

Mr Mansfield said: “We say that he needs to be here to answer what he means. Because if whatever was to be sent by his patrons, by his ministers, it was not what he meant. Said, okay, let him come and say so.

“But that’s what he said, ‘to kill the health and safety culture for good’.”

Mr Mansfield still quoted Mr Cameron as saying: “I want 2012 to go down in history not only as the Olympic Year or the Diamond Jubilee Year, but the year we have once again lost many more wastes from the economy and British life.” Wasted time. For everyone.

“It’s become an albatross around the neck of businesses, costing them billions of pounds a year, a fearful health and safety monster to be killed so businesses feel they can move forward, they can plan.” They can invest, they can grow, without realizing they are being strangled by red tape and health and safety regulation.”

Mr Mansfield told the investigation that it was important to “recall” and “re-live” the atmosphere of the time “as it may happen again unless it is banished as an attitude”.

Module six of the second phase of the investigation is taking a closer look at building regulations and published guidance on fire safety, including a detailed look at government policy on relevant aspects.

As Monday’s hearing began, interrogation attorney Richard Millett QC urged the organizations involved in the investigation and its witnesses to “fully accept their obligations of clarity and openness and face the harsh realities they reveal.” We do”.

He said: “Their written submissions suggest that they have been prepared with fingers. We would urge witnesses coming to this module to look at their evidence in a spirit of cooperation and without any bias where appropriate on the material.” Make concessions without hesitation.”

In a statement to the PA news agency, a spokesman for Mr Cameron said: “As Prime Minister, David Cameron advocates a sensible new approach to health and safety regulations to ensure that they protect people. and where necessary, implemented instead of unnecessarily affecting businesses. Red tape.”


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