From 2010 to 2015, Lord Pickles served as Housing Secretary.
Lord Pickles, a former Cabinet minister, has apologised for stating incorrectly during the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire’s death toll.
Pickles mentioned “the nameless 96” in his remarks last week.
72 people died in the 2017 west London blaze, all of whom have been identified. ‘
He “misspoke” in an email to the inquiry, according to the former housing secretary.
The 1989 Hillsborough disaster was also on his mind as he prepared for the inquiry, he said.
When he made his final remarks, “I misspoke and referenced the 96 people who died in and immediately following Hillsborough,” he said.
In light of this unintended error, I apologise to the families and friends of the 72 people who perished in the Grenfell Tower fire.
Family, friends, and all of us remember the deceased not as a number but as human beings deserving of respect.
Since the Hillsborough stadium tragedy, the number 96 has been associated with the number of victims who perished, although the death toll was officially increased to 97 last year.
As a result of red tape reductions, the ex-minister was not aware of the impact on fire safety.
What caused the Grenfell Tower blaze?
How the Grenfell Tower disaster unfolded.
After hearing Lord Pickles’ “disrespect,” the Grenfell United campaign said its members were speechless. The group represents many of the community’s bereaved, survivors, and locals.
On the 2nd day of testimony, lord pickles appeared to recommended that the inquirys senior counsel speed up.
This is more essential than anything I’m doing, he said afterwards, apologising for his “discourteous” conduct.
Other times, he admitted that the housing department, which he oversaw during the Cameron coalition government from 2010 to 2015, was a failure.
During the chaos that followed the fire, victims were not treated with the “dignity that they deserved,” according to testimony presented to the inquiry on Monday.
Imran Khan, a lawyer for the victims, said the council’s response “exacerbated what was already a dire situation and was severely damaging to the lives of our clients, even to this day”.
According to Danny Friedman, an attorney representing those who lost loved ones in the fire and those who survived it, they found themselves back at “ground zero” on the morning afterward.
It was a “humanitarian and political crisis” at the time, he explained.
The inquiry heard that the first seven days following the fire were riddled with errors.
There was no food, money, cell phones, or proper clothing for survivors and other residents.
Missing persons flyers on a phone box in west London in 2017 are photographed by a bystander.
In the days following the blaze, posters of missing people were hung near the tower.
A local gym was the only place where they could find information about loved ones who may have died. They made their own lists of potential victims on the gym’s wall.
Kensington and Chelsea’s local council had no accurate list of the residents of the tower.
Despite having escaped a fire in a high-rise block, they were forced to live in hotels or other tall buildings for the rest of their lives.
When the fire was still raging, the council hired a PR firm, and officials warned about “local instigators” within the community who were “fabricating stories” about what had happened, Mr Friedman told the investigation.