Watch the moment Paul Blomfield demands Boris Johnson meet with Sheffield cladding victim he insulted

A video of a Sheffield MP demanding Boris Johnson meet with a leaseholder tormented by the fire safety crisis in tower blocks has gone viral.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 11:48 am

In the video from the House of Commons, Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, asked the Prime Minister to meet with a Sheffield woman he accused on television of having a “frankly unnecessary sense of anxiety” about fire safety defects in her home, so that he can hear why she is worried.

Jenni Garratt, who lives in a tower block in Mr Blomfield’s constituency and is part of Sheffield Cladding Action Group, was forced to pay £5,500 for a waking watch and new alarm, £1,200 a year for car parking she can no longer access and will have to pay even more costs she has been warned will be several thousand pounds due to fire safety issues in her building that have also led to evacuations.

She is one of many residents in tower blocks in Sheffield and the country who face bills of tens of thousands of pounds.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jenni Garratt, who lives in the Wicker Riverside building, is one of the campaigners from Sheffield Cladding Action Group who Boris Johnson declined to meet.

Leaseholders in Daisy Spring Works, in Kelham Island, for example, were quoted around £70,000 per flat for remediation work.

In response to Mr Blomfield’s requst to meet Ms Garratt, Mr Johnson said: “I’m afraid to say to the Honourable Gentleman, I have every sympathy with his constituent, but what I think is unfair is that people such as her are placed in a position of unnecessary anxiety about their homes, when they should be reassured. I sympathise deeply with people who have to pay for waking watches and other such things, I think it is absurd.

“But what people should be doing is making sure that we do not unnecessarily undermine the confidence of the market and of the people in these homes, because they are not unsafe. Many millions of these homes are not unsafe and he should have the courage to say so.”

The remarks were made following the Government’s budget and spending review which repeats a pre-existing announcement of £5 billion to support the removal of dangerous cladding.

A video of the exchange was posted around social media which hundreds of people have responded to.

On Twitter, Glenn Seaton, commented: “Gaslighting taken to new levels.”

Anne Jackson said: “If they aren’t unsafe why are the residents having to pay a fortune for nighttime fire patrols?”

Becky Hymas tweeted: “Awful response from Boris Johnson. Thank you Paul Blomfield for continuing to fight for leaseholders affected by the building safety crisis and your support in the end our cladding scandal campaign.”

Denise Steadman commented: “Well done for raising Jennie’s case. Johnson’s response was appalling to both Jennie and you. We are all in grave danger now.”

Following the exchange, Ms Garratt said: “It’s really disappointing that, given the opportunity to readdress my case, the Prime Minister still isn’t interested in truly understanding the problem, or fixing the crisis that I and thousands of other leaseholders find ourselves in. I feel let down by the Government who promised to ensure we weren’t left with huge costs which aren’t our fault.”