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Engagements

Part of The Prime Minister Was Asked-- – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th June 2017.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 12:00 am, 28th June 2017

There have been many years of waiting for the Hillsborough families and the different groups who came together, not just the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. The work done by Margaret Aspinall and others has been absolutely exemplary. As I said, today will be a day of really mixed emotions for them, but we all welcome the fact that charging decisions have been taken. That is an important step forward.

The right hon. Gentleman asked me for an update on Grenfell Tower. If I may, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on a number of aspects. We all know what an unimaginable tragedy this was, and our thoughts will continue to be with all those affected by it. As of this morning, the cladding from 120 tower blocks across the country, in 37 local authority areas, has been tested and has failed the combustibility test. Given the 100% failure rate, we are very clear with local authorities and housing associations that they should not wait for test results; they should get on with the job of the fire safety checks—indeed, they are doing that—and take any action necessary. The Government will support them in doing that. The Communities Secretary has set up an independent expert advisory panel to advise on the measures that need to be taken. The panel is meeting this week.

On the housing offer, 282 good quality temporary properties have been identified, 132 families have had their needs assessed and 65 offers of temporary accommodation have already been made to families. The payments from the discretionary fund we have made available continue. As of this morning, nearly £1.25 million of payments have been made. In addition, we are giving an extra £1 million to the local consortia of charities, trusts and foundations that have been doing such important work.

On the public inquiry, I expect us to be able to name a judge soon. As the right hon. Gentleman will know, the process is that the Lord Chief Justice recommends the name of a judge. We want to ensure that, as the process goes forward for that inquiry, the survivors and the families concerned are involved. That is the work we are currently doing.