Day: June 24, 2017


A Kensington resident told a shocked radio presenter she would move out if Grenfell Tower families were rehoused in her private block.

The woman, called Donna, complained to LBC host Shelagh Fogarty that if people made homeless on the blaze moved into her luxury building for free, it would be very unfair.

It comes after it was revealed 68 social housing flats in the £2 billion Kensington Row development have been acquired to house families hit by the blaze.

In the radio interview, Donna said her service charge bill was £15,500, and said: “I would feel really resentful if someone got the same thing for free.

Shocked: Shelagh Fogarty (LBC)

“I feel sorry for those people but my husband and I work very hard to be able to afford this.

“And for someone to get it free, I would move.”

A shocked Ms Fogarty replied: “You’d move?”

Donna went on: “Our council tax bill is very, very high, our service charge bill is very, very high, so why should someone get it for free?

Some Grenfell Tower residents are to be re-homed in a £2bn luxury block

“I know it sounds harsh believe me I feel sorry for those people but I work very, very hard and so does my husband.”

Ms Fogarty hit back: “It does sound harsh, you sound hard-hearted.”

She told her: “Lucky you that you’ve got that money and you haven’t been burned out of your home.”

The comments came after several Kensington Rise residents caused outrage by branding the move “unfair”.

One man told the Guardian: “I’m very sad that people have lost their homes, but there are a lot of people here who have bought flats and will now see the values drop.

“It will degrade things. And it opens up a can of worms in the housing market.”

The comments were branded “horrendous” and lacking “humanity” on Twitter.

The properties that have been acquired are a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom flats, and the new accommodation is expected to be completed by the end of July.

Two bedroom flats are currently being advertised for up to £2.4 million, but it is understood the City of London Corporation paid around £10 million for some of the flats thanks to an “extraordinary gesture” of goodwill by developer St Edward in selling the properties at their cost price.

The deal was brokered by the Homes and Communities Agency on behalf of the Government.



Just two days after Libya deported 175 Nigerians for entering the country illegally, six European countries deported an additional 34 Nigerians on Thursday.

The European countries said that the Nigerian deportees committed immigration-related offenses in the European countries.

The Nigerians were deported from Switzerland, Germany, Iceland, Austria, Belgium and Hungary.

The deportees, who flew in a chartered Air Blue Panorama aircraft, arrived at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos at about 6:30 a.m. on Thursday morning.

Among the deportees were 32 men and 2 women, our correspondent gathered.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Joseph Alabi, the spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, confirmed the development to our correspondent on the phone.

“This morning, we received 34 Nigerians who were brought back from Europe. They were made up of 32 males and 2 females.”

He said all the deportees were alleged to have committed immigration-related offenses in their host countries.

Mr. Alabi said the deportees were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) , the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Nigeria Police Force.

Also on ground to receive them were officials the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The deportees were profiled by immigration authorities before leaving the airport.

On Tuesday, Libya returned 175 Nigerians from the North African country aboard a chartered Nouvelair aircraft, which landed at 7:50pm at the Lagos airport.

The returnees were made up of 34 males, 122 females, 10 children and 9 infants.

They were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.




Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have been evicted from their emergency hotel accommodation at short notice after the local council was unable to extend their booking.

In a letter from Kensington and Chelsea council to the families affected, it said people needed to urgently leave their rooms by 4pm on Friday.

“Despite efforts to extend your stay at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, regrettably the hotel has stated that they do not have availability,” the council wrote.

The letter, which was subsequently shared on social media, tells families to contact the council’s accommodation team as a matter of urgency and provides a phone number.

A council spokesman said: “The Holiday Inn Gloucester Road was unable to continue accommodating 30 households due to previous bookings and we are deeply sorry for the manner in which the families had been informed of the need to move them.”

The people concerned were reportedly staying in 20 rooms at the Kensington hotel and the council said those who had to leave had been offered alternative hotels in central London.

Pilgrim Tucker, a community organiser working with the Grenfell Action Group, said in a statement released by the Radical Housing Group: “It’s beyond disgusting that after all these people have been through, losing their neighbours and watching their homes burn to the ground, authorities are prepared to tell them that they have hours to pick up their bags and move to some unknown destination… It makes you wonder if anything has been learned from the Grenfell catastrophe.

Community groups and volunteers claim some people have been moved several times since the fire broke out. In response, the council said it was trying hard to avoid “unnecessary moves for people”.

A volunteer, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “This is bad for the families. It’s bad because they’ve already had to endure enough, bad because they are being told this at the last minute, and let’s admit, this country only treats certain people this way.

“It is also bad because people are now being split across accommodation all over and that means it’s probably going to be even harder for the families in question to get support.”

Leila al-Halabi, who has been volunteering in the area since the fire, claimed “families have been split up into various accommodation away from each other”.


Read also: Grenfell Tower fire: police considering manslaughter charges


Fifty eight firefighters are tackling a blaze at a block of flats in Bethnal Green, east London.

One person has been treated for the effects of breathing in smoke at the four-storey building on Turin Street.


London Fire Brigade said flames engulfed half of a third floor flat and have spread to the roof of the building.

Bethnal Green Road has been closed in both directions. It is unclear how the fire started.