BOLTON MP Yasmin Qureshi has written to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick calling for government action to outlaw the use of unsafe cladding on tower blocks in the wake of The Cube fire.

She tells the minister lessons must be learned from the blaze at the accommodation and the Grenfell Tower tragedy to avoid further loss of life.

Last month 220 students were rescued as flames swept through The Cube in Bradshawgate while 72 residents lost their lives in the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London. Flammable cladding was blamed for the rapid spread of both blazes.

Bolton South-East Labour MP Ms Qureshi tells Mr Jenrick: “I am sure you will join me in thanking the response of the emergency services to the recent fire at The Cube student accommodation in my constituency. Their rapid response saved hundreds of lives.

“I am writing to you with extreme concern about the lessons learned from the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 and the flammability of cladding on buildings. It seems the government has given little thought to the regulation and oversight of cladding.

“Although not the same as the now-banned aluminium composite material of Grenfell, The Cube was covered in high-pressure laminate (HPL) cladding, which was clearly also flammable. The Fire Brigades Union has stated that this material is even more widespread than the ACM of Grenfell, which is cause for serious worry.

“The job of the government is to regulate and scrutinise the development of properties for residential use to ensure that they comply with rigorous safety standards and are fit for human habitation. It is no good to pass the buck onto the owners when there is no law compelling them to use fire-safe cladding.

“The Government must work quickly and decisively to establish the extent to which residential properties are covered in materials that could facilitate the spread of a fire. I urge you to speak with your Cabinet colleagues and fast-stream the commission of an audit into this, so that we do not have another Grenfell tragedy. “

Ms Qureshi said: “I am very concerned about the lack of action taken by the Conservative Government to establish the risks associated with cladding.

“Evidently, insufficient work has been conducted following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and too few lessons have be learned.

“I will be meeting with representatives from the Greater Manchester High Rise Task Force in the New Year.”

A Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesman said:“Residents’ safety is our utmost priority and we are making vital improvements to ensure buildings are safe.


“The Queen’s Speech set out the biggest change to building safety laws in nearly 40 years.


“Building safety remains the responsibility of building owners, but we have seen that progress has been too slow, which is why we have committed £600 million to fully fund the removal of unsafe ACM cladding from high-rise buildings.”