POLITICS

Sajid Javid Ready To Name And Shame Over Grenfell Cladding Tests

9/11 experts drafted in to help cops as investigation gathers pace.

20/07/2017 16:23 BST

Ministers are prepared to name-and-shame as it is revealed cladding samples from seven tower blocks have not been sent for combustibility testing yet. 

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower inferno, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said it is “simply unacceptable” that a month after testing began, the samples have not been seen by experts.

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What remains of Grenfell Tower

All seven tower blocks are managed by housing associations and Javid said he expects see samples submitted “without any further delay”.

He added: “The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has yet to see samples from seven towers, all of them managed by housing associations.

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Experts from the 9/11 attack have been drafted in to advise the Met

“A month after the tests began this is simply unacceptable and I expect to see them all submitting samples without any further delay.”

Javid said he was “horrified” to hear some housing associations had still not sent cladding samples for testing, adding: “Perhaps the time has come for naming and shaming, for example.”

It comes as it was revealed experts from the 9/11 probe have been sent in to advise Scotland Yard on the Grenfell investigation.  

Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey said the “extraordinary size” of the potential crime scene meant those who worked in the aftermath of the Twin Towers disaster in 2001 were being called upon.

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Acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner Craig Mackey

Giving an update at City Hall, Mackey said the investigation was “going to be one of the largest and most complex” in the Met’s history but he would be “guessing” if he had to put a timeframe on arrests.

Javid, who was giving a statement on the fire to the Commons, issued a fresh appeal for information on how many were in the towers the night of the blaze.

He insisted the Government’s only concern was “getting to the truth”, not targeting subletters or survivors who may be illegal immigrants. 

Javid also told the Commons the first permanent homes would be “ready within days”, and specialist teams “are ready to start matching them to families and start making the offers”.

Javid said the “raw anger” on display at the first Kensington and Chelsea council meeting since the disaster was “entirely understandable”.

“As the Prime Minister herself has said, the initial response from the local authority was simply not good enough,” he said. 

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Sajid Javid in the House of Commons

“There’s not a lot of trust there, not a lot of confidence, and that’s why once Kensington and Chelsea Council takes over the recovery operation it will do so under the supervision of the independent Grenfell Recovery Taskforce.”

Shadow housing secretary John Healey sounded alarmed to hear news of delays to cladding tests.

“The more we’re told, the worse this gets,” he said. 

″(Javid’s) statement today raises more questions than it answers.

“The Prime Minister said we can test over 100 buildings a day, so why have only 259 tests been done?”