Grenfell Tower: New council No.2 promises there'll be no Hillsborough-style cover-up

Kim Taylor-Smith appeared on Sam Delaney's show just a day after being elected

Tension remains high in Kensington a month on from the disaster

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The newly elected deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea council has promised that there'll be no Hillsborough-style cover-up of the Grenfell Tower disaster as all the relevant files are in police hands.

However Kim Taylor-Smith refused to confirm there'll be a full amnesty for illegal immigrants who survived the disaster, and said it's proving extremely difficult to find accommodation for all those affected.

Taylor-Smith was speaking to talkRADIO just a day after he was elected alongside new leader Elizabeth Campbell, who faced angry heckling last night.

He told Sam Delaney the atmosphere was tense, but said it was understandable because "there's an awful lot of anger" still bubbling on the subject of Grenfell.

"It was very evident on day 2 when I was up at the Westway," he said, "and it was recommended that everybody [from the council] remove their identification badges, that there was a lot of mistrust."

When asked if he could heal the tension, Taylor-Smith said "absolutely. If I didn't believe that I could fix that [breakdown in trust] I wouldn't have stepped up to this job. I'm well-equipped to do this in terms of my background."

Sam put it to his interviewee that the council still has access to records and information, and could thus tamper with the details - as happened after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

But Taylor-Smith said this was impossible, telling our listeners "the police have secured all the files, they've taken copies of absolutely everything, so that has all been preserved and that is part and parcel, as it should be, of their investigation."

He continued by saying that "the best memorial for these victims" and denied suggestions that survivors had been offered accommodation on a 'take it or leave it' basis.

However the councillor conceded that rehousing so many people in the local area is a "tremendous challenge," adding "we're not running at our pace, we're running at the pace of the individuals concerned. A lot of people aren't in a position to make decisions because of the trauma involved."

When asked about the prospect of a full, genuine amnesty, Taylor-Smith would only say: "We had a motion last night that we would lobby the Government to make that decision. That is not a decision that a Kensington councillor can make.

"It's not a promise I can give you."

Listen to the interview above