Conservative MPs write to all backbenchers asking them to pressure government over cladding

Two Conservative MPs have written to all their colleagues asking them to press the government for action to protect leaseholders from the cost of removing dangerous cladding, as campaigners send a letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak asking him to take action on the crisis at the Budget this week.

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Stephen McPartland has written to Tory MPs asking them to put pressure on the government over cladding (picture: Chris McAndrew)
Stephen McPartland has written to Tory MPs asking them to put pressure on the government over cladding (picture: Chris McAndrew)
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Two Conservative MPs have written to all their colleagues asking them to press the government for action to protect leaseholders from the cost of removing dangerous cladding, as campaigners send an letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak #UKhousing

Stephen McPartland and Royston Smith this week emailed all Conservative MPs who are not ministers asking them to take a stand over the current position, which is seeing costs for remediation passed on to leaseholders in thousands of buildings across the UK.

“The government has done its best, but it has been over three years and they are not tackling all the issues,” they wrote. “There are lots of options and solutions to support the millions of leaseholders that are being left behind in our constituencies and we are working with the UK Cladding Action Group (UKCAG) to urge the government to support leaseholders.”

Inside Housing is a partner with UKCAG and dozens of other cladding action groups around the UK on the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign, which asks the government to pay the costs for remediation work up front and then recoup the cash from those responsible for any failures.


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Currently, more than 2,800 buildings have registered an interest in receiving funding from a £1bn pot that will cover only around 500 buildings.

In response to government advice notes, lenders have been refusing mortgages on buildings unless they can receive sign-off from a fire engineer, meaning hundreds of thousands of residents are unable to move house.

Mr McPartland, MP for Stevenage, said: “Leaseholders are the innocent parties in this nightmare and they should not have to pay. There are lots of possible solutions and the secretary of state has to sit down and work with us to end the cladding scandal.

“He needs to get out of his ivory tower, stop talking and start actually helping the millions of leaseholders being left behind.”

Mr Smith, MP for Southampton Itchen, added: “Of all the organisations and people who bear some responsibility, the ones who don’t are the innocent leaseholders.

“It was government legislation and regulation which allowed this to happen, so it falls on government to find the solution. Developers, funders, architects – whoever designed and built these blocks share the responsibility to find a solution, but it should not fall on those who carried out their due diligence (conveyancing) but have found themselves caught in this immoral trap. The government has tried. But they have not yet done enough.”

It comes as campaigners for the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign wrote to chancellor Rishi Sunak asking him to use his Spending Review tomorrow to go further to protect those living in dangerous homes.

The letter says: “The building regulatory system has been broken for decades. This is a clear failure of successive governments, and it is gravely unfair that ordinary, innocent people are to be forced to pay costs, often far exceeding our annual salaries.

“As a party that espouses homeownership as one of its ‘fundamental values’, this is no fair or decent way to act true to those statements.

“We now call on you, as chancellor of the exchequer, to grasp the nettle of this crisis and ensure sufficient funds are made available to ensure our homes are made safe.”

An MHCLG spokesperson said: “We understand many people will be worried – our priority is making sure residents are safe and feel safe in their homes by removing dangerous cladding as quickly as possible.

“We have given £1.6 billion to speed up the removal of cladding – and we are making significant progress, with work complete or under way in almost 80% of high-rise buildings with ACM cladding, rising to above 95% in the social housing sector.

“Building safety is the responsibility of building owners and they should seek the costs of remediation work from developers and their warranty schemes, without passing them on to leaseholders.

“We are developing affordable solutions where needed and will provide more details in due course.”

 

10 steps to End Our Cladding Scandal

Based on the recommendations of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee and backed by a range of sector bodies and MPs from across the political spectrum, these are Inside Housing’s 10 steps to End Our Cladding Scandal:

  1. The government must lead an urgent national effort to remove all dangerous cladding from buildings by June 2022.
  2. The Building Safety Fund must cover all buildings, regardless of height, and a range of internal and external fire safety defects, not just cladding.
  3. The government should provide the money up front and then seek to recover it from any responsible parties or via a temporary levy on development.
  4. Social housing providers must have full and equal access to the fund.
  5. The government must compel building owners or managers to be honest with residents about fire safety defects.
  6. The government should cover the cost of interim safety measures.
  7. The government should act as an insurer of last resort and underwrite insurance where premiums have soared.
  8. A fairer, faster process is needed to replace the EWS form and funding is necessary to ensure all buildings requiring a form are surveyed within 12 months.
  9. Mental health support must be offered to affected residents.
  10. Protecting residents from historic and future costs must be a key commitment of new building safety legislation.

End Our Cladding Scandal: campaign backers

Organisations:

  • Grenfell United
  • Resident cladding action groups: UK Cladding Action Group, Manchester Cladiators, Leeds Cladding Scandal, Birmingham Leaseholder Action Group, London Cladding Action Group, Liverpool Cladiators, One Housing Action Group, Homeowners of L&Q, Richmond House Residents and others
  • A collective of lawyers representing Grenfell Tower families at the public inquiry
  • The Sunday Times
  • Shelter
  • Fire Brigades Union
  • Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Chartered Institute of Housing
  • National Housing Federation
  • Unison
  • National Leasehold Campaign
  • Leasehold Knowledge Partnership
  • Engage Liverpool
  • Federation of Private Residents Associations
  • Institute of Residential Property Management

Individuals and experts:

  • TV presenter Kevin McCloud
  • TV presenter Phil Spencer
  • Architect George Clarke
  • Actor and comedian Kathy Burke
  • Actor Carey Mulligan
  • Singer/songwriter Marcus Mumford
  • Hip hop artist and campaigner Lowkey
  • West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster
  • Actor Ross Mullan (Game of Thrones)
  • Leilani Farha, dormer UN special rapporteur for housing
  • Jonathan Evans, chief executive of Ash & Lacy
  • Building Safety Register co-founder Matt Hodges-Long
  • Professor Sue Bright
  • Executive coach Gill Kernick
  • Safety consultant Stephen MacKenzie
  • Safety consultant Phil Murphy
  • Architect Francis Maria Peacock
  • Chris Blythe OBE, former chief executive of the CIOB
  • Solicitor Giles Peaker

Politicians:

  • Andy Street, metro mayor of West Midlands (Conservative)
  • Sadiq Khan, mayor of London (Labour)
  • Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester (Labour)
  • Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of Liverpool City Region (Labour)
  • Mike Amesbury MP, shadow housing minister (Labour)
  • Matthew Pennycook MP (Labour)
  • Kim Johnson MP (Labour)
  • Shabana Mahmood MP (Labour)
  • Liam Byrne MP (Labour)
  • Ian Byrne MP (Labour)
  • Abena Oppong-Asare MP (Labour)
  • Margaret Hodge MP (Labour)
  • Ruth Cadbury MP (Labour)
  • Apsana Begum MP (Labour)
  • Rushanara Ali MP (Labour)
  • Sam Tarry MP (Labour)
  • Mohammed Yasin MP (Labour)
  • Lucy Powell MP (Labour)
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey MP (Labour)
  • Justin Madders MP (Labour)
  • Florence Eshalomi MP (Labour)
  • Sam Terry MP (Labour)
  • Jeff Smith MP (Labour)
  • Mohammed Yasin MP (Labour)
  • Meg Hillier MP (Labour)
  • Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP (Labour)
  • Feryal Clark MP (Labour)
  • John Cruddas MP (Labour)
  • Virendra Sharma MP (Labour)
  • Graham Stringer MP (Labour)
  • Diane Abbott MP (Labour)
  • Andrew Mitchell MP (Conservative)
  • Sir Peter Bottomley MP (Conservative)
  • Bob Neil MP (Conservative)
  • Bob Blackman MP (Conservative)
  • Anne Marie Morris MP (Conservative)
  • Stephen McPartland MP (Conservative)
  • Matthew Offord MP (Conservative)
  • Kevin Hollinrake MP (Conservative)
  • Stephen Hammond MP (Conservative)
  • Daisy Cooper MP (Liberal Democrat)
  • Christine Jardine MP (Liberal Democrat)
  • Sarah Olney MP (Liberal Democrat)
  • Jamie Stone MP (Liberal Democrat)
  • Caroline Lucas MP (Green)
  • Lord Young of Cookham (Conservative)

  • Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Conservative)
  • Lord Gary Porter of Spalding (Conservative, former chair of the Local Government Association)
  • Lord Shipley OBE (Liberal Democrat)
  • Lord Stunnell OBE (Liberal Democrat)
  • Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (Green)
  • Baroness Finlay of Llandaff (Crossbench)
  • Cllr Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester Council (Labour)
  • Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham Council (Labour)
  • Philip Glanville, mayor of Hackney (Labour)
  • Paul Dennett, mayor of Salford (Labour)
  • Sian Berry AM (Green)
  • Caroline Pidgeon AM (Liberal Democrat)
  • Tom Copley AM, deputy mayor for housing (Labour)
  • Leonie Cooper AM (Labour)
  • Murad Qureshi AM (Labour)
  • Andrew Dismore AM (Labour)
  • Neil McEvoy MS (Labour)
  • Cllr Jonathan Bartley (Green, co-leader)
  • Cllr Douglas Johnson (Green)
  • Cllr Suzanne Richards (Labour)
  • Cllr Liz Clements (Labour)
  • Cllr Maria Toolan (Labour)
  • Cllr Christine Banks (Labour)
  • Cllr Nick Small (Labour)
  • Cllr Geoff Barraclough (Labour)
  • Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg (Labour)
  • Cllr Martin Whelton (Labour)
  • Cllr Jon Connor-Lyons (Labour)
  • Cllr Sam Wheeler (Labour)
  • Cllr Marcus Johns (Labour)
  • Cllr Adam Hug (Labour)
  • Cllr Tony Belton (Labour)
  • Cllr Zena Brabazon (Labour)
  • Cllr Sara Conway (Labour)
  • Cllr Mary Daly (Labour)
  • Cllr Thomas Stephens (Labour)
  • Cllr Krupesh Hirani (Labour)
  • Cllr Sarah Bogle (Labour)
  • Cllr Darren Paffey (Labour)
  • Cllr Joan Davies (Labour)
  • Cllr Sem Moema (Labour)
  • Cllr Shama Tatler (Labour)
  • Cllr Johnson Situ (Labour)
  • Cllr Anne Clarke (Labour)
  • Cllr Leo Pollak (Labour)
  • Cllr James Roberts (Vice Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) (Labour)
  • Cllr Annette Wright (Labour)
  • Cllr Ken Wood (Conservative)
  • Cllr Meirion Jenkins (Conservative)
  • Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative)
  • Cllr Peter Golds (Conservative)
  • Cllr Michael Rutherford (Conservative)
  • Cllr Edward Gretton (Conservative)
  • Cllr Anton Georgiou (Liberal Democrat)
  • Cllr Jayne McCoy (Liberal Democrat)
  • Cllr Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrat)
  • Cllr Ruth Dombey (Liberal Democrat)
  • Cllr Anthony Fairclough (Liberal Democrat)
  • Cllr Hina Bokhari (Liberal Democrat)
  • Cllr Jenny Batt (Liberal Democrat)
  • Cllr Ben Andrew (Liberal Democrat)
  • Cllr Andrew Wood (independent, former Conservative)
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