Downing Street has confirmed that close to 600 high rises across England have cladding similar to that used in Grenfell Tower.
Tower blocks across the country are being scrutinised after the Grenfell tower fire, which left nearly 80 people dead or missing and presumed dead. Three of the collected Grenfell Tower cladding samples have been shown to be combustible and the results of other tests will be made public soon.
The announcement was made in the wake of the Kensington and Chelsea Council boss Nicholas Holgate’s resignation after criticism of the way the London authority responded to the disaster.
Ms. May stated in the Commons that the council was unable to cope with the fire’s aftermath, and that Mr Holgate had done the right thing by stepping down.
The Prime Minister explained that all councils in the UK were working closely with local fire services and taking all steps possible to ensure that buildings are safe and any affected residents are informed.
After being pressed for more information on whether the cladding complied with fire and building regulations, Mrs. May said that material tests would be made public soon. Secretary for Local Government Sajid Javid will provide testing details at a future date.
Survivors of the June 14 fire have already been paid over £700,000, and Mrs May said she wanted to provide reassurances that none of this money would have to be repaid. She added that resources such as accommodation and healthcare would be available to all people affected by the fire, regardless of their immigration status in the UK.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responded to the PM’s statement. He said that the residents of Grenfell Tower had been let down, both before and after the tragedy. He pointed out that at least 79 people were dead, and all of their deaths could have been avoided.
The Prime Minister said she would soon name the judge who will head the inquiry. She stressed that people should have full confidence in the proceedings, which will leave “no stone unturned” to find the guilty party.