POLITICS

London Mayor Sadiq Khan Urges 'Compassion' On Grenfell Survivors' Immigration Status

Khan was at the funeral of Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali, who died in the inferno.

21/06/2017 17:32 | Updated 22 June 2017

Immigrants who survived the Grenfell fire must be granted the right to remain in the UK on “compassionate grounds”, Sadiq Khan has said.

The London Mayor was speaking at the funeral of Mohammed Alhajali, a 23-year-old Syrian refugee who died in the blaze.

Mohammad came to the UK in 2014 to study civil engineering but perished when the fire took hold of the tower block.

He had become separated from his brother Omar, with whom he lived in the 14th floor.

Khan said all survivors of the blaze should be given the right to remain in the UK as a matter of urgency. 

PA Wire/PA Images
Sadiq Khan said Grenfell Tower survivors must have their immigration status guaranteed 

Speaking at the East London Mosque in Whitechapel, Khan said: “All of London and all of the country is grieving today with Mohammad’s family.

“I want to thank the family for inviting me to Mohammed’s funeral this afternoon.

“My message to anyone who is nervous coming forward to report anything to the authorities because of their immigration status is this: the government has committed to not taking any action against anybody whose immigration status is uncertain. 

PA
Mohammed Alhajali survived Assad's regime only to die in Grenfell Tower, his brother Omar said

“I am calling on the government on compassionate grounds to allow those inside Grenfell Tower who haven’t got right to remain to give them right to remain.”

It had been unclear whether Mohammad’s parents were able to come to the country to attend his funeral.

But the Home Office allowed their passage into the UK on compassionate grounds after a petition gained the signatures of more than 80,000 people. 

Alhajali’s older brother Omar - who was with him in their flat on the 14th floor - survived after they were separated on the way out of the inferno.

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a judge-led public inquiry into the disaster. 

PA Wire/PA Images
The coffin of Mohammad Alhajali, a victim of the deadly Grenfell Tower blaze, is taken from the east London Mosque in Whitechapel, for his burial.

Khan added: “It’s also crucial we get to the truth and get justice for all those struggling in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.

“It’s important the public inquiry commences as soon as possible and the families, the local community, civic groups have legal representatives paid for by the government.

“It’s important that an interim report is published this summer, it’s important we get to the bottom of what happened.

“I will do everything I can as Mayor of London to not just support Mohammad’s family but all those families that have lost loved ones, all those struggling in the aftermath of the fire.

“Our thoughts and prayers of the entire congregation and I am sure all of London, is with every single family, every single person affected by this tragedy.”

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