MPs’ fury as ministers dodge cladding vote: Anger as Commons is denied the chance to protect leaseholders from paying to fix fire-risk issues
- Ministers were blasted for denying MPs the chance to protect leaseholders
- Government struck down attempts to guarantee flat owners wouldn’t have to pay for safety repairs
- Prime Minister avoided a rebellion against his plans to end the cladding scandal
Ministers were blasted last night for denying MPs the chance to protect leaseholders from the costs of fixing fire-trap flats.
Tory backbenchers said families would not forgive the Government after it struck down attempts to guarantee flat owners would not have to pay for safety repairs.
It meant the Prime Minister avoided a rebellion against his plans to end the cladding scandal, which would see the vast majority of families in dangerous flats barred from crucial funds.
The Prime Minister avoided a rebellion against his plans to end the cladding scandal
More than 30 Tory MPs signed an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill that sought to protect leaseholders. But ministers chose not to put it to a vote.
Tory MP Royston Smith, who tabled the amendment, said voters ‘will not forget and they will not forgive’ if leaseholders are forced to pay for repairs. He added: ‘Thousands of leaseholders are heading for bankruptcy.’
Giles Grover of the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign said: ‘The Government has failed leaseholders. Tonight, millions will go to sleep feeling trapped and abandoned. We won’t forget this.’
The Daily Mail is campaigning to end the scandal which leaves hundreds of thousands of leaseholders facing bills worth tens of thousands of pounds to fix fire-risk flats.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick recently announced an extra £3.5billion to replace unsafe cladding on blocks above 18 metres (59 ft).
Giles Grover of the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign (pictured) said: ‘The Government has failed leaseholders. Tonight, millions will go to sleep feeling trapped and abandoned. We won’t forget this.’
But it means hundreds of thousands of leaseholders living in smaller buildings could be forced to pay up to £600 a year to make their homes safe.
Meanwhile, there is no support for those whose homes are ravaged by non-cladding related defects that cost an average of £25,600 per flat to fix.
The Prime Minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton had earlier said the backbench amendment would ‘slow things down’ for leaseholders with dangerous cladding.
But Labour MP Sarah Jones described the Government’s stance as ‘an absolute cop out’.