Stars join campaign pressing for deadline to rid tower blocks of fire-risk cladding


Singers Paloma Faith and Ella Eyre joined Grenfell campaigners today to demand the Government “commit to a deadline” for removing all flammable cladding from tower blocks almost three years on from the fire which claimed 72 lives.

Justice4Grenfell is calling for a detailed timeline for replacing cladding on hundreds of blocks.

Last year the Government said it expected all removals of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) to be completed by this month. But latest figures from April showed at least 21,000 households still had the Grenfell-style cladding, which has been blamed for allowing the flames to spread so rapidly during the fire on June 14, 2017.

In March the Chancellor announced a £1 billion fund to remove unsafe cladding from high-rise residential buildings, but no new timeline for how long the removals will take has been released.

Ella Eyre (Dave Benett)
Ella Eyre (Dave Benett)

The first stage of the disaster inquiry found that the cladding system was the “principal” reason for the spread of the fire in the north Kensington block.

Justice4Grenfell spokeswoman Yvette Williams said: “We’re aware that the Government has recently announced a fund dedicated to removing cladding but it’s not good enough. At a time where people are urged to stay in their homes more, safety is paramount. Many thousands of lives are at risk.”

A government spokesman said: “We have worked tirelessly with councils to identify buildings at risk and ensure they are made safe.

“We are providing £1.6 billion for the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings and are bringing forward the biggest legislative changes in a generation to provide further enforcement powers against those who do not comply with the law.

"Building owners have a legal responsibility to keep their residents safe and whilst we have seen positive action from some, we are clear that more needs to be done to protect their tenants.”