L: James Brokenshire R: Dame Judith Hackitt

Dame Judith Hackitt’s report on reforming building regulations has been published

Housing Secretary unveiled the review after an independent inquiry into building standards was branded a “betrayal and a whitewash” for not recommending a ban.

The cladding is widely blamed for helping a small blaze engulf the west London high rise on June 14 last year, killing 71 residents.

A report on reforming building regulations was published today by Dame Judith Hackitt, a former chair of the Health and Safety Executive.

She later said she welcomed the Government’s plans to consult on outlawing combustible materials and said she understood disappointment that she had not recommended it herself.

If people attach too much reliance upon banning activities and particular materials as being a solution it will create a false sense of security.

Dame Judith Hackitt

But she saw her role as being to provide a regulatory framework into which specific new actions could fit, she told MPs.

Dame Judith, who earlier admitted she was “not an expert on Grenfell”, also insisted a ban on flammable cladding would not be enough on its own to prevent future tragedies, as she was determined to do.

There were already strict rules but too many operators could take “short cuts” in a “race to the bottom” to save time and money.

“If people attach too much reliance upon banning activities and particular materials as being a solution it will create a false sense of security,” she told the Commons’ Housing and Local Government Committee.

“Banning things is no guarantee that people aren’t going to use them. That’s the real world.”

Her proposed system includes making it much clearer who is responsible for the safety of buildings they design, build, refurbish or maintain.

She also wants a stronger watchdog with “real teeth” to enforce the rules.

Earlier, Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire praised her for a “comprehensive” review.

But he told the Commons he will consult on whether to outlaw flammable cladding on high-rise residential buildings and whether to restrict the use of controversial “desk-top studies to assess combustibility.

MPs on all sides demanded quicker action.

Labour Shadow Housing Secretary told Mr Brokenshire “Don’t consult on it, do it.

“We owe it to the Grenfell residents, and we owe it to residents living today in other tower blocks with the same Grenfell-style cladding.”

MP Mark Prisk

Tory MP Mark Prisk demanded a ban on all combustible materials in external cladding

Conservative MP Mark Prisk also demanded a ban on all combustible materials in external cladding and insulation, saying: “Anything less will not do.”

On the BBC, Grenfell’s local Labour MP Emma Dent Coad, asked: “Why are we consulting again?

“There are people across the country who are afraid to go to sleep. This is not an abstract issue.”

Labour MP David Lammy, who lost a friend in Grenfell, denounced Dame Judith’s report as “a betrayal and a whitewash” by not recommending the ban.

Shahin Sadafi, chairman of the Grenfell United campaign group, welcomed the Government’s promise to consult: “But we are disappointed that they haven’t just banned this dangerous material, today.”

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association of councils, called for an immediate temporary ban on flammable material in “complex and high rise buildings”.

The Royal Institute of British Architects said Dame Judith’s review was “a major missed opportunity” to make buildings safer by introducing more detailed new rules and guidance.

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