Kensington & Chelsea councillor Catherine Faulks tells BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that protesters at Kensington Town Hall “weren’t the local community”
Catherine Faulks also says the attempts of the media to report on a council meeting by means of a High Court order was “a very clever stunt”
This is clip is taken from BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday, July 1st. At the beginning, we catch the end of an interview with Sarah Montague about the Grenfell Fire Disaster with Yvette Williams of Justice4Grenfell. After that, we have what has been described as a “car crash”‘ interview with Conservative Kensington & Chelsea Councillor, Catherine Faulks.
The Grenfell Tower fire disaster took place on June 14, 2017. It is still not known how many people actually died inside the burning building. Unofficial local estimates put the number at around two hundred. At the time of writing, the official casualty figure is eighty.
In the wake of the disaster, there has been much criticism of the local council. It was said the Conservative-controlled Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea did not respond early enough. Most voters in the borough live in the affluent southern end around Chelsea and Kensington High Street. But the fire took place in the north, around Ladbroke Grove. This is a pocket of poverty at the edge of the richest borough in London.
The context of the interview is important. The previous day, the leader of the council, Nicholas Paget-Brown and his deputy stepped down after another dire week. This climaxed in an aborted attempt by the council to hold a cabinet meeting behind closed doors. Some media outlets went to the High Court for an order to allow press access. They succeeded, but the meeting was ended by Paget-Brown when he found out reporters were in the room.
Who is Catherine Faulks?
Catherine Faulks is married to Baron Faulks (former Conservative Justice Minister Edward Faulks), and elder brother of the Birdsong novelist, Sebastian Faulks. Aside from being a Councillor, she works for a London property company. Following the broadcast of this interview, there have been calls for her to resign from the council.