‘Burn neoliberalism, not people’ - Norwich MP Clive Lewis stirs debate after Grenfell Tower blaze

Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Picture: Ri

Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Picture: Rick Findler/PA Wire) - Credit: PA

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis has set off a social media storm in response to the Grenfell Tower fire.


Mr Lewis yesterday summed up his outrage at the horrific blaze on Twitter with the words: 'Burn neoliberalism, not people', adding a photo of the smoking ruins of the west London building.

The message prompted scores of replies and more than 4,000 shares, with many Twitter users accusing Mr Lewis of trying to politicise a tragedy.

Robert Wright replied: 'I'm not sure what bit of neoliberal ideology mandates that one refurbishes socially-owned housing in a dangerous fashion, frankly.' And Rachel Morgan tweeted: 'Nothing like using the death of people to make a cheap point is there.'

But others were more supportive of Mr Lewis's stance.


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Rupert Higham replied: 'The corruption goes way down: delayed and relaxed regulations and more. All made acceptable by a promoted culture of callous profiteering.'

And Russ Jackson tweeted: 'Even the IMF are concerned about the negative impact of neoliberalism - the more people who understand it the better.'

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Neolibralism is an ideology which champions small government and concepts such as privatisation, deregulation, globalisation and tax cuts.


READ MORE: Many feared dead as huge blaze rips through 27-storey Grenfell Tower in LondonMr Lewis said the tweet was part of a series which started with shock, sorrow and condolence at the June 14 fire, which then built up to anger.

He said: 'Anger at seeing some of the poorest people in this country burn to death for the sake of saving £5,000.

'How can anyone not be angry about what has happened? Austerity and cost-cutting has consequences.

'I'm not talking about burning anything down, I'm saying this ideology has to end.'

Clive Lewis. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Clive Lewis. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Police have launched a criminal investigation into the fire, which left at least 30 dead and more than 70 still missing. It is believed the blaze spread quickly around the tower's exterior due to the cladding used in an £8.7m refurbishment which was completed last year.

It has been reported that flame-retardant cladding could have been fitted to Grenfell Tower for just £5,000 extra.

Prime minister Theresa May has come under fire for her response to the crisis, but has announced a £5m help package for victims.


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