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Boris Johnson, it is now down to you to end the cladding scandal

The End Our Cladding Scandal campaign, which Inside Housing supports, has today sent a letter to Boris Johnson outlining the steps still needed to solve the crisis. It is published below

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Picture: Getty
Picture: Getty

The #EndOurCladdingScandal campaign, which @insidehousing supports, has today sent a letter to Boris Johnson outlining the steps still needed to solve the crisis #UKhousing

Dear prime minister,

What started as a cladding scandal, shortly after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, soon became a building safety scandal. The people we represent are in buildings, of all heights, suffering from a range of serious fire safety defects and we still face unpayable and unfair costs to ensure our homes are safe.

Robert Jenrick’s announcement of an additional £3.5bn will not be enough to save us or to make buildings safe at the pace we need to see. What is required is a completely new approach, one that we have been recommending since we relaunched our campaign.


Cladding loans for buildings under 18m could impact housing associations’ borrowing, sector fearsCladding loans for buildings under 18m could impact housing associations’ borrowing, sector fears
Freehold company hikes ground rents for leaseholders facing huge fire safety billsFreehold company hikes ground rents for leaseholders facing huge fire safety bills
Housing minister defends 18m funding rule for cladding despite widespread criticismHousing minister defends 18m funding rule for cladding despite widespread criticism
Legislation allowing action for building regulation breaches should be strengthened not repealedLegislation allowing action for building regulation breaches should be strengthened not repealed
Minister tells peers that amendment to protect cladding leaseholders does not go far enoughMinister tells peers that amendment to protect cladding leaseholders does not go far enough

If you want to meet the pledges you have made in your manifesto and several times in parliament, that you do not want to see leaseholders forced to pay for remediation and that buildings should be made safe as quickly as possible, this is what you must do now:

1. Please pass legislation to prevent historic fire safety costs being passed on to leaseholders

You and your cabinet colleagues have repeatedly said leaseholders should not pay. But the reality is that we are being forced to pay and will continue to do so until the legal position changes.

You are the only one who has the power to do the right thing and change this legal position to help us to level up – we urge you to please do so immediately.

2. Please prioritise remediation by risk

Mr. Jenrick’s funding announcement should help some people in buildings taller than 18m, but will still lumber those below with lifelong debts that will likely never be repaid. He justified this by saying it is where the risk is highest, but, as he stated over a year ago, height is just one crude and arbitrary factor in accurately assessing risk.

Your government must urgently lead the work in establishing which buildings need fixing, which will require risk mitigation measures rather than full remediation, and which can be left alone. This requires a holistic assessment of all internal and external fire safety issues, not just height and not just cladding, and certainty around this advice must come from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) expert panel rather than the current reliance on industry.

Mr. Jenrick referred to “expert advice” 12 times in his announcement, so we echo the comments of UK Finance and the Building Societies Association on why a consultation on risk prioritisation, which opened a year ago and closed in May 2020, remains unpublished.

3. Please make funding available for all heights and for all fire safety defects

If urgent fire safety work is required to a building, funding is also clearly required as the causative issues are identical.

Limiting funds to cladding removal only and buildings above 18m, guarantees only a partial resolution to this problem, no end to this nightmare and bankruptcy for hundreds of thousands of people who will be ruled out of help due to this arbitrary height criteria.

4. Please make the polluter pay

This problem is not a Hobson’s choice between burdening the taxpayer and bankrupting first-time buyers, and it deeply concerns us to see the government attempt to cast it this way. A divide-and-conquer approach is ill fitting for the unfair situation millions of us are now in. The only fair and moral way to solve this crisis is to find a way to truly make those who have profited, to the tune of many billions over recent years, pay to clean up this mess.

A former Bank of England economist has devised a credible plan to protect the taxpayer and the leaseholder for charity the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, we urge you to consider it, along with any other mechanism which delivers a fair solution and properly protects the innocent victims from all costs to resolve the many serious safety issues we played no part in causing.

5. Please provide relief for the crisis we face now

It is the unfair and unaffordable interim measure costs, which we are suffering right now, that will bankrupt us long before any remediation costs even hit leaseholders. Our residents are being forced to pay hundreds of pounds each month for waking watch patrols, which are the least cost-effective and most risky means to protect a building and our lives. You must recognise that the size of this crisis means remediation is a long-term project, and therefore interim measures are crucial.

A £30m fund to transition to fire alarms is not nearly enough and this sum is dwarfed by the taxes we have already been forced to pay on interim measures over the past three and a half years. We also urgently need the government to step in to ensure insurance is affordable for impacted buildings, where the insurance market has clearly failed and premiums have soared beyond all reason, with the Treasury having already benefited from insurance premium taxes being added to these exorbitant sums.

We welcome the announcement that the government will now work closely with industry to design a state-backed professional indemnity insurance scheme. We ask you to also help the hundreds of thousands of us experiencing unfair issues with our building insurance, please.

The continued failure to deal fully and fairly with this building safety crisis will severely harm this government’s legacy, particularly among the young first-time buyers, who make up the majority of those impacted.

But if you take control, end this grave injustice, protect homeowners and help fairly resolve the 30-year failure of building regulations, that is a chance to have a legacy of which the country can, and will, be proud.

We urge you to please take it and help the millions of desperate people who just want to finally be able to move on with our lives after years of living in limbo and uncertainty that has severely affected our financial and mental health. Without your intervention, we fear our lives will be ruined.

Please help ensure we are finally protected. You are now the only person who can save us.

Yours sincerely,

The End Our Cladding Scandal Campaign

Signed in support by

Signed in support by

Mohammad Yasin, MP for Bedford and Kempston
Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale and Liberal Democrat spokesperson for housing, communities, local government
Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam
Florence Eshalomi, MP for Vauxhall

Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central
Ed Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton and leader of the Liberal Democrats
Sarah Olney, MP for Richmond Park
Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South
Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central
Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP for Streatham
Rebecca Long-Bailey, MP for Salford and Eccles
Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton
Derek Twigg, MP for Halton
Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham
Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South
Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central
Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff, crossbench peer
Jenny Jones, Baroness of Moulsecoomb
Krupesh Hirani, Brent Council and Labour & Co-operative Party London Assembly candidate for
Brent and Harrow
Andrew Cooper, Kirklees Council and Green Party candidate for West Yorkshire mayor
Anne Clarke, Barnet Council and Labour & Co-operative Party London Assembly candidate for
Barnet and Camden
Ann Forsaith, Leeds City Council
Paul Wray, Leeds City Council
Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council
Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods at Birmingham City
John O’Shea, cabinet member for street scene and parks at Birmingham City Council
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council
Suzanne Richards, executive member for housing and regeneration at Manchester City Council
Drew Heffernan, chair of planning committee at London Borough of Sutton Council
John Leech, Liberal Democrat leader of the opposition at Manchester City Council
Anton Georgiou, London Borough of Brent and Liberal Democrat London Assembly candidate
for Brent and Harrow
Julien Pritchard, Birmingham City Council
Jayne McCoy, deputy leader of London Borough of Sutton
Mohammed Iqbal, Leeds City Council
Elizabeth Nash, Leeds City Council
Liz Clements, Birmingham City Council
Fred Grindrod, Birmingham City Council
Mary Locke, Birmingham City Council
Martin Straker Welds, Birmingham City Council
Kath Hartley, Ladywood ward, Birmingham City Council
Albert Bore, Ladywood ward, Birmingham City Council
Mohammed Idrees, Alum Rock ward, Birmingham City Council
Lou Robson, Hall Green North ward, Birmingham City Council
Mark Wright, Hotwells & Harbourside Ward, Bristol City Council
Ruth Dombey, leader of London Borough of Sutton Council
Emily O’Brien, Green Party councillor, Lewes District Council
Milly Manley, Green Party councillor, Lewes District Council
Geoff Barraclough, City of Westminster
Sara Conway, Burnt Oak ward, London Borough of Barnet
Janice Long, London Borough of Brent
Tracy Kelly, deputy statutory mayor at Salford City Council
Charlie McIntyre, Salford City Council
Ann-Marie Humphreys, Salford City Council
Sharmina August, Salford City Council
John Walsh, Salford City Council
Stuart Dickman, Salford City Council
John Warmisham, Salford City Council
Mike McCusker, Salford City Council
Marcus Johns, Deansgate ward, Manchester City Council
Jon-Connor Lyons, Piccadilly ward, Manchester City Council.
William Jeavons, Deansgate ward, Manchester City Council
Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council
Barbara Bentham, Salford City Council
Annette Wright, Hulme ward, Manchester City Council
Cllr Adele Douglas, Piccadilly ward, Manchester City Council
Andrew Western, Priory ward and leader of Trafford Council
Joan Davies, Deansgate ward, Manchester City Council
Mike Freeman, Sale Moor ward, Trafford Council
Derek Antrobus, Salford City Council
Mike Pevitt, Salford City Council
Wilson Nkurunziza, Salford City Council
David Jarman, Longford ward, Trafford Council
Neil Reynolds, Salford City Council
Shirley Procter, Flixton ward, Trafford Council
Jane Slater, Stretford ward, Trafford Council
Kevin Procter, Urmston ward, Trafford Council
Tom Ross, Stretford ward, Trafford Council
Lee-Ann Igbon Hulme ward, Manchester City Council
Lewis Nelson, Cadishead ward, Salford City Council
Gina Reynolds, lead member for adult services, health and well-being at Salford City Council
Martin Phipps, City ward, Sheffield City Council
Ruth Mersereau, City ward, Sheffield City Council
Douglas Johnson, City ward, Sheffield City Council
Alison Teal, Nether Edge and Sharrow ward, Sheffield City Council
Peter Garbutt, Nether Edge and Sharrow ward, Sheffield City Council
Angela Argenzio, Broomhill and Sharrow Vale ward, Sheffield City Council
Kaltum Rivers, Broomhill and Sharrow Vale ward, Sheffield City Council
Paul Turpin, Gleadless Valley, Sheffield City Council
Paul Kohler, Trinity ward, Merton Council (Liberal Democrat)
Anthony Fairclough, Dundonald ward, Merton Council (Liberal Democrat)
Sarah Doyle, Liverpool City Council
Sarah Bogle, Southampton City Council
John Merry, deputy city mayor at Salford City Council
Emma Taylor, Ancoats and Beswick ward, Manchester City Council
Majid Dar, Ancoats and Beswick ward, Manchester City Council
Joshua Brooks, Salford City Council
Jim Dawson, Salford City Council
Joanne Harding, Trafford Council
Michele Barnes, Salford City Council
Laurence Walsh, Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council
Robert Sharpe, Little Hulton ward, Salford Council
Hina Bokhari, West Barnes ward, Merton Council (Liberal Democrat) and spokesperson for
Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park
Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster Labour Group
Sadiq Khan, mayor of London
Caroline Pidgeon MBE, Liberal Democrat London Assembly member
Tom Copley, London deputy mayor for housing and residential development
Leonie Cooper, London Assembly member for Merton & Wandsworth and member of the
assembly’s housing and fire committee
Emma Wallace, Green Party Greater London Authority candidate for Brent and Harrow
Ed Carlisle, Leeds Green Party (Hunslet and Riverside)
Gerry Proctor MBE, chair of Engage Liverpool CIC
Richard Tice, chairman of Reform UK and former MEP
Colin Noble and Rachel Hartshorne, co-chairs of Leeds Green Party
Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region
Paul Dennett, mayor of Salford, Salford City Council
Emma Dent Coad, Kensington and Chelsea Labour Group, MP for Kensington 2017 to 2019
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester
Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales
Reverend Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool
Reverend Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking
Reverend Cherry Vann, Bishop of Monmouth
Reverend Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph
The Venerable Alastair Cutting, Archdeacon of Lewisham & Greenwich
Reverend Andy Batchelor, Parish of Harbury and Ladbroke with Ufton.
Reverend Gareth Wardell, Parish of St Clement & St James, W11 (The Grenfell Tower Parish)
Reverend Hugh Nelson, Bishop of St Germans
Reverend John Stroyan, Bishop of Warwick
Reverend Dr Woyin Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich, Southwark Diocese
Reverend Dr Joanne Woolway Grenfell, Bishop of Stepney
Reverend Dr Ric Thorpe, Bishop of Islington
Reverend Christopher Chessun, the Bishop of Southwark
Reverend Alan Smith, the Bishop of St Albans
Reverend Dr John Thomson, Bishop of Selby
Reverend Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester
Reverend Robert Atwell, Bishop of Exeter
Reverend Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Loughborough
Reverend Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle
Reverend William Hazlewood, Bishop of Lewes
The Venerable Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon
Reverend Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield
Reverend Philip North, Bishop of Burnley
Reverend Roger Morris, Area Bishop of Colchester
Reverend Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington
Phil Spencer, TV Presenter and Founder of Move iQ
Phil Murphy, high-rise residential building fire safety consultant, MSC
Dr Jonathan Evans, FIMechE, Ash and Lacy
Christopher Blythe OBE
Jane Duncan OBE, chair of the fire safety expert panel at the Royal Institute of British Architects
Frances Maria Peacock, chartered architectural technologist, chartered building engineer and
fire engineer
Gill Kernick, safety culture and leadership consultant and resident of Grenfell Tower from 2011 to 2014
Ian Magenis, director at Scanlans Property Management
Dr Nigel Glen, chief executive officer of Association of Residential Managing Agents
Christina McAnea, general secretary at Unison
Matt Wrack, general Secretary at The Fire Brigades Union
The Institute of Residential Property Management
Natasha Elcock, chair of Grenfell United
Sebastien O’Kelly, chief executive officer of Leasehold Knowledge Partnership
Cath Williams, co-founder of the National Leasehold Campaign
Katie Kendrick, founder of the National Leasehold Campaign
Michael Mansfield QC
Professor Susan Bright, University of Oxford
Adrian Williamson QC
Paul Ridge, solicitor at Bindmans LLP
Graham French, consultant solicitor at Russell-Cooke LLP
Sam Stein QC
Matthew Purcell, James Saunders, Nia Williams, partners at Saunders Law Oliver Fisher Solicitors
Andrew Dymond, barrister at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square

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