Theresa May's £400m to rid fire-risk tower blocks of cladding

Theresa May's £400m to rid fire-risk tower blocks of cladding

A report on United Kingdom building regulations set up after the Grenfell Tower tragedy found "deep flaws" in the rules but stopped short of calling for a ban on cladding, the combustible material blamed for contributing to the fire that killed 71 people in London last June.

But the answer to the key question of whether the government should ban combustible materials, such as those which spread the flames on Grenfell where 72 people died, was left unclear.

Following the fire, cladding on hundreds of buildings failed safety tests.

In a report published on Thursday, Dame Judith Hackitt, the government's reviewer, said a new standards regulator should be the centrepiece of a reformed system but suggested she did not believe combustible materials should be banned.

'A series of commitments made by ministers up to and including the prime minister have not been honoured'.

But Labour MP and Grenfell campaigner David Lammy branded her report "a betrayal and a whitewash".

A review of building regulations set up after the Grenfell tragedy will not propose an outright ban on flammable cladding, the BBC understands.

But then Hackitt appeared to contradict her own report and admitted she would in fact support a ban on combustible materials as long as it was alongside the wider reforms she proposed.

"When we met Dame Judith Hackitt we asked her for an outright ban on combustible cladding".


Speaking in the House of Commons three hours after the publication of the review, Mr Brokenshire said new laws would be introduced that delivered "meaningful and lasting" change to the building safety system.

She said: 'As we approach the anniversary of the appalling tragedy that was the Grenfell Tower fire our thoughts are with the victims and survivors and all those affected by that tragedy'.

Last year, the government offered financial flexibilities to help local authorities with vital fire safety work. "The cladding on the Grenfell Tower was deemed to be limited combustibility.it must be banned".

"What I will be disappointed about is if people think simply banning cladding is going to fix this problem".

However, she stopped short of banning controversial desktop studies, which can be used to justify using certain materials without a fire test.

Enforcement powers will also be strengthened with more serious penalties for those who choose to "game the system" and place residents at risk.

But the Prime Minister hit back, saying fire and rescue services had visited over 1,250 high-rise buildings following the blaze.

"If people feel I haven't gone far enough and for this system to work in the future requires, in addition, that there is further clarity or indeed banning of some of the materials which are now used, I don't have a problem with that", she said.

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