Diane Abbott has slammed Barnet Council after visiting the Marsh Drive estate today.

The shadow home secretary claimed the council were not doing enough to help people living in the estate after it appeared on a BBC documentary following security issues and pest infestation.

Mrs Abbott said there were bad fire safety problems in the building, claiming she saw damp, mould and water penetration at the estate.

She called it “unfit” conditions for families and children to live.

“I would say that Barnet Council needs to be ashamed,” Mrs Abbott said.

“Residents have gone to Barnet Council time and time again and it has not dealt with the issue. They have not dealt with the infestation and haven’t dealt with the water penetration.

“I have seen water coming down near electrical fittings – that is dangerous.”

New research from Labour suggested that the central Government grant to fire and rescue services has seen real-term cuts of £314 million since 2015/2016.

Mrs Abbott said a Labour Government would restore fire cuts - and added that the council had a “duty of care” to people living in the Marsh Drive estate.

She added: “But I think the council don’t care.

“It should be responding with what tenants are telling them. They should be coming in and dealing with the infestation.

“But they should also be dealing with the water penetration and damp.

“People hear want to know they have secure tenancy’s and they are currently living in un-fit conditions and insecurity.”

However, Cllr Dan Thomas, Leader of Barnet Council said: "This Conservative Council has been working to regenerate the West Hendon area, investing in infrastructure and building new homes because it is clear that the current estates are not fit for purpose.

"Todays’ comments from Diane Abbott about West Hendon are an example of shameful politicisation at its worst. Until the last election, this ward has been run by Labour councillors for the past 50 years, who did so little to help their residents through promoting regeneration to the area.

"Since the residents elected Conservative councillors to West Hendon last year, real work has been both planned and carried out around the area to make sure that it’s a part of the borough where residents are able to live happily and to thrive."

The Barnet Times also asked Mrs Abbott about Labour’s chances in the general election of securing a seat in Hendon, which has a large Jewish community, following claims of anti-Semitism within the party.

She said: “It is a seat that we are really targeting.

“We have a great candidate with a long history of fighting anti-Semitism and the Labour party has a long history of fighting anti-Semitism and it is definitely a seat that we are targeting."

Mr David Pinto-Duschinsky, Hendon parliamentary candidate, added: “There is a huge need for change here.

“We are really confident that we can win here.”