Boris Johnson accuses Labour of 'outrageous politicking' over Grenfell Tower tragedy
Boris Johnson has accused Labour of "political game playing" over accusations that cuts to the fire service contributed to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The Foreign Secretary criticised what he's called "outrageous politicking by Labour" over "the terrible fire in London."
The confirmed death toll in the Grenfell Tower fire has risen to 30 but is expected to soar significantly, police have said, as anger mounts over a litany of failings that led to the disaster.
In a statement on Facebook, Mr Johnson said: "There has sadly been some political game playing about the terrible fire in London. I find it unbelievable that Labour are suggesting that this tragedy was somehow caused by fire service cuts.
"The fire brigade was there astonishingly quickly and performed with great bravery.
"As for the record, fires in London went down 50 per cent in my mayoralty. Fire deaths down year after year.London has fastest appliance response times in the country.
"Sadiq Khan conducted his own review of the London fire safety plan. If he felt that the provision in Kensington was deficient he had ample budget to change it.
"Any attack on emergency services performance is outrageous politicking by Labour."
Mr Johnson's comments came after footage resurfaced of Mr Johnson telling a Labour Assembly member to "get stuffed" after he raised concerns about fire service cuts.
He made the remarks as London Mayor in 2013 after Andrew Dinsmore asked him: “How can cutting fire stations, cutting fire engines, cutting firefighters posts not be a reduction in fire coverage?”
Responding to the footage, the Labour MP Wes Streeting told The Mirror: "The words 'get stuffed' pretty much sum up Boris Johnson's attitude to all the concerns that were put to him about cuts to police and the fire service while he was mayor."
It came as the government’s former housing minister Mark Prisk told BBC 5 live that not enough time was spent by government reviewing fire safety in recent years – and that new buildings had taken the focus away from existing buildings.
Asked whether enough time had been spent on that fire safety process, he said: “What’s clear to me is that – no. I think, as Whitehall as a whole – and ministers must clearly be included in that – we all need to do more. We need to learn from that.”