GREATER Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has slammed Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick over his plans for the removal of cladding on buildings - in the wake of the Cube fire.

The Government will fund the “removal and replacement” of cladding on taller residential buildings, Mr Jenrick said.

But on lower and medium-rise blocks of flats -18 metres and below - Mr Jenrick said: “The Government will develop a long-term scheme to protect leaseholders in this situation, with financial support for cladding remediation on buildings between four and six storeys.

“Under a long-term low-interest scheme, no leaseholder will ever pay more than £50 a month towards the removal of unsafe cladding, many far less."

Mr Burnham wrote on Twitter: "How on earth can the Government justify this unfair and divisive move? The Cube in Bolton was below 18m but it burnt as quickly as Grenfell.

"1000s of people in Greater Manchester will now face a choice of unaffordable loans or living with unsafe cladding. The campaign goes on."

The Cube fire saw fire crews called to the six-storey building in Bradshawgate, at around 8.30pm in November, 2019.

At its height, around 200 firefighters were tackling the blaze, with 40 fire engines, three aerial platforms and other specialist appliances being used.

In a statement on cladding, Mr Jenrick told the Commons: “We will make further funding available to pay for the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in high-rise residential building of 18-metres and above – or above six storeys – in England.

“We continue to take a safety-led approach and this funding will focus on the higher-rise buildings where the independent expert advisory panel tells us – time and again – the overwhelming majority of the safety risk lies, in line with the existing building safety fund and the anticipated scope of the new building safety regulator that we’re establishing and will shortly be legislating for.

“This will ensure that we end the cladding scandal in a way that is fair and generous to leaseholders."