UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) has demanded that empty private properties in London be “requisitioned” for those left homeless by this week’s tower block fire.
The left-wing politician said the disaster in the wealthy London borough of Kensington and Chelsea had revealed a “tale of two cities” – rich and poor – and the government must step in and seize any property necessary to help victims.
Corbyn said during a parliamentary debate yesterday: “Properties must be found, requisitioned if necessary, to make sure those residents do get rehoused locally. It cannot be acceptable that in London you have luxury buildings and flats kept as land banking for the future while the homeless and the poor look for somewhere to live.”
Requisitioning has not been seen in the UK since the Second World War and would be regarded as a drastic measure likely to trigger legal challenges.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen told the Daily Mail: “Suggesting requisitioning private property when empty student accommodation is available locally is completely in line with his Marxist belief that all private property should belong to the state.“
Officially, 17 people have been declared dead as a result of the inferno. However, the true number of fatalities – if it can ever be established – is anticipated to run into three figures.
Corbyn’s comments came as his finance spokesman John McDonnell – a committed Marxist – called for one million protesters to take to the streets of London on July 1 to force another general election and oust prime minister Theresa May, who is clinging on to power having lost her parliamentary majority in last week’s national poll.
McDonnell urged voters to “get out on the streets” to force May to hold a second election. The protest is being organized by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and the Stop the War Coalition.
Although the Conservatives secured almost 800,000 more votes than the Labour Party, and have 55 more MPs than them, many in the left-wing movement still won’t accept the official result. McDonell said this week: “I don’t think this government is a legitimate government.”