The Speaker
Thursday, 18 July 2024 – 17:33

Labour calls on UK Government to create a new National Cladding Taskforce

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has issued a series of demands to tackle the UK’s cladding crisis and has called for the creation of a national taskforce.

According to figures from the Labour Party, up to 11 million people are at risk ‘from life-changing cladding costs and unsellable properties’.

Demands from Labour include providing upfront funding for the removal of cladding, setting a new and legally enforceable deadline of 2022 for making homes safe, pursuing those responsible for installing unsafe cladding and stamping out rogue building practices.

The demands come ahead of a debate in the House of Commons later about protecting tenants and leaseholders from unsafe cladding. The Opposition Day motion reads;

“That this House calls on the Government to urgently establish the extent of dangerous cladding and prioritise buildings according to risk; provide upfront funding to ensure cladding remediation can start immediately; protect leaseholders and taxpayers from the cost by pursuing those responsible for the cladding crisis; and update Parliament once a month in the form of a Written Ministerial Statement by the Secretary of State.”

The debate comes over three years since the fire at Grenfell Tower in West London in 2017. In the fire at the 23 storey tower block, more than 70 people were injured, 223 people escaped and 72 people tragically lost their lives.

The source of fire at Grenfell Tower has been blamed on a fridge-freezer, however, dangerous cladding on the building was blamed for the rapid spread of the fire. 

Leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer has accused the Government of providing ‘years of dither, delay and half-baked solutions.’ Starmer said;

“Today needs to be a turning point for those affected by the cladding scandal. Millions of people have been sucked into this crisis due to years of dither, delay and half-baked solutions from the Government.

“For many leaseholders, the dream of home ownership has become a nightmare. They feel abandoned, locked down in flammable homes and facing ruinous costs for repair work and interim safety measures.

“I urge Conservative MPs to vote with us in Parliament today and put their constituents’ safety and security first. And I urge the Government to get a grip of this crisis through a national taskforce and by implementing Labour’s six demands.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said that the Government was making “good progress on remediating unsafe homes”

Years after the Grenfell Tower fire with thousands of blocks still wrapped in dangerous cladding, the Government is facing increased pressure to do more to protect leaseholders and tenants across the country. The debate in the House of Commons is expected to take place after 15:30 this afternoon. 

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