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Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Phase 1 Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 21st January 2020.

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Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 3:35 pm, 21st January 2020

I had better make some progress, but I will return to my hon. Friend in a moment.

The Bill we will bring forward later this year will be the first step towards the new regulatory framework that will implement the recommendations of the phase 1 report’s legislative requirements. Under the Bill, building owners and managers will be required to share information with fire and rescue services on external wall systems, and undertake regular inspections of flat entrance doors. The Home Office will consult on the detail of the proposals in spring this year.

That legislative action will address many of the inquiry’s recommendations and forms part of the wider Government response to ensure that action is taken against unsafe cladding. My Department has already introduced a ban on combustible materials on the external walls of new buildings over 18 metres, and, as I have said, made available £600 million in Government funding to support that work.

Sir Martin’s report concluded that it was not just the materials of the building that contributed to the tragedy: more people could have survived the fire had the London Fire Brigade conducted a full evacuation earlier in the night. He recognises existing Government guidance stating that fire and rescue services should have contingency plans for when a building needs full or partial evacuation, and noted that the London Fire Brigade policies were in this respect deficient.