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Great Britain

Firefighters welcome Labour's pledge to halt service cuts

FIREFIGHTERS have welcomed Labour’s pledge to end all fire service cuts and “learn the lessons” from the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The party’s election manifesto says that an incoming Labour government would halt all cuts to fire and rescue services — and would recruit at least 5,000 new firefighters.

It also pledges to establish a national standards body for fire-related issues, with trade-union representation at all levels of the institution.

Labour says it will “learn the lessons” of the June 2017 blaze at Grenfell Tower, which claimed the lives of 72 people, and act “urgently” to make changes that are deemed necessary by firefighters.

In the past decade, cuts imposed by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in government have cost an estimated 11,500 firefighters’ jobs and closed at least 40 fire stations.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Firefighters must not forget who is responsible for the destruction of their service and the decimation of their pay.

“And we should remember who our friends have been in each of our battles in recent years.

“Only a Labour government will properly fund the fire and rescue service, increase firefighter numbers, and give us the pay rise we have long deserved.

“Moreover, it would deliver a shift in power away from wealthy elites and towards workers.

“The Tories and Liberal Democrats have left the country and its fire safety infrastructure in tatters.

“We must remove them from power.”

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