Theresa May rejects Jeremy Corbyn's call to seize empty homes for Grenfell victims

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Theresa May has shot down Jeremy Corbyn’s call for empty homes to be seized so they can house victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Labour leader doubled down on his idea for empty homes to be taken over by the Government so those left homeless by the tragedy had a place to stay.

However, the Prime Minister has now ruled out the idea, according to a Number 10 spokeswoman.

She said: “Look, we don’t support proposals to seize private property.

Jeremy Corbyn wants empty properties to be seized so they can house victims of the Grenfell fire (Rex)

“Our focus is on rehousing people as quickly as possible, in the borough and the neighbouring borough, and that still stands.”

Making the decision clearer, she added: “We do not support the proposals to seize private property.”

Mr Corbyn made the proposals last week and yesterday urged the Government to consider requisitioning or using compulsory purchase orders for flats that are deliberately kept vacant, in a process known as land-banking.

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He told ITV’s Peston on Sunday: “Occupy it, compulsory purchase it, requisition it – there’s a lot of things you can do.

“But can’t we as a society just think, all of us, it’s all very well putting our arms around people during the crisis but homelessness is rising, the housing crisis is getting worse and my point was quite a simple one.

“In an emergency, you have to bring all assets to the table in order to deal with that crisis and that’s what I think we should be doing in this case.”

At least 79 people have died following the fire at the London tower block (Rex)

The Labour leader made his call in the aftermath of last week’s devastating blaze, which has so far claimed the lives of 79 people.

Many of the properties in the Kensington borough are thought to be owned by foreign millionaires, who only live there for short periods throughout the year.

However, the Government would have to issue a compulsory purchase order to seize the home – which would likely be challenged in the courts.

Top pic: Rex