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Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Phase 1 Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:09 pm on 21st January 2020.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Housing 4:09 pm, 21st January 2020

I do indeed welcome the ban, which we argued for for some time. It was something the Hackitt report did not recommend, but Ministers wisely decided that they would not follow that recommendation. It is a no-brainer that we should not be putting combustible cladding on the sides of buildings in that way.

I welcome some of the action that has been taken. I know that the Secretary of State is approaching this with a serious intent. He did indeed announce what he calls “more measures” yesterday and he said he is

“minded to lower the height threshold for sprinkler requirements in new buildings”—[Official Report, 20 January 2020;
Vol. 670, c. 23.]

But this is for new build only. He is considering, with the Treasury, whether leaseholders will get any funding help, and he is having yet another consultation exactly on that issue of flammable material. I say to him that we have had 14 consultations already since the Grenfell fire. We had 21 announcements on building safety in this Chamber before yesterday’s announcement. I say to the Secretary of State that he and his Government still have some way to go to give people confidence and to convince those people affected by unsafe cladding that there will be change.