Outrage as mould boss staying in job despite death of toddler

Awaab Ishak: RBH Chief Executive issues statement

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Senior coroner Joanne Kearsley called at his inquest this week for the toddler’s death to be a “defining moment” for housing standards. Despite politicians’ demands, Gareth Swarbrick has not quit and Awaab’s parents Faisal Abdullah and Aisha Amin have joined calls for “accountability” at the top of RBH.

They said: “We see nothing to indicate that the death of our son will, in any way, serve as a defining moment. Accountability must be done and be seen to be done.

RBH have an opportunity to demonstrate to society at large, their residents, and not least us… that they understand the gravity of this.”

Kelly Darlington, the family’s lawyer at Farleys Solicitors LLP, said she is determined that Awaab’s death will not “be in vain.

“The death of a two-year-old boy caused by prolonged exposure to mould in his home…should not in this day and age ever have been allowed to happen in the UK.

Awaab Ishak was born a healthy little boy, and was loved and cared for unconditionally.”

The inquest heard Mr Abdullah reported mould to RBH in 2017 but was told to paint over it.

His son died in hospital in December 2020.

Mr Swarbrick has apologised but said the RBH board had given him its backing, adding: “I will not be resigning.”

Richard Blakeway, the Housing Ombudsman, has sped up three probes into the landlord following the ruling by the coroner.

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