Grenfell Tower: Labour MP Emma Dent Coad 'used inaccurate figures about children affected'

MP used 'inaccurate figures about children' from Grenfell Tower

Emma Dent Coad (right) spoke in the Commons yesterday (December 18)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

An MP who claimed more than 200 children affected by the Grenfell Tower fire were still being housed in bed and breakfasts used inaccurate figures, Kensington and Chelsea Council have said.

Labour's Emma Dent Coad told the Commons on Monday that "over 200 children" were "still in bed and breakfast accommodation for up to six months, which I believe is illegal".

But Kensington and Chelsea Council said the figures were "factually inaccurate" and that only 34 children displaced by the disaster were now in permanent or temporary accommodation.

The Kensington MP stood by the figures she quoted when contacted by the Press Association, and claimed the council "fudge the figures a lot".

Dent Coad said: "I can't imagine it would have gone down by that much. I stand by the figure that I had, it was from an official source on the 3rd November - it may have gone down a bit, but not by 170 or whatever it is they are saying.

"The figure is the Tower, Grenfell Walk, the Walkways and nearby buildings - all families who have been displaced by the fire."

A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea Council said: "The figures being used by Emma Dent Code are factually inaccurate.

"There are now 22 Grenfell families with children under 18 still in hotels, 12 of whom have now accepted an offer of permanent or temporary accommodation. This amounts to just over 34 children."

Following a statement on Grenfell Tower from Communities Secretary Sajid Javid in the chamber on Monday, Dent Coad asked: "Will the Secretary of State confirm that, despite the Prime Minister's promise after the Grenfell Tower fire that 'I fix a deadline of three weeks for everybody affected to be found a home nearby', there are, according to our calculations - including the Tower, Grenfell Walk, other walkways and nearby buildings - over 200 children still in bed and breakfast accommodation for up to six months, which I believe is illegal."

Javid replied: "From the date of the tragedy, the commitment that was given that all families will be offered temporary accommodation within three weeks. It was absolutely met - they were all offered that.

"And we have seen over the last six months, as I've continuously updated the House - no doubt [Dent Coad] has had some of her own updates from her constituents - is that we have tried at every stage to offer both permanent accommodation and different types of temporary accommodation.

"And as I have acknowledged today, there are still too many families in emergency accommodation and we will continue to work with the local authority to do whatever we can to reduce that." 

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