Yesterday Labour used some of the limited time we have in Parliament for opposition business to propose a motion calling on the Government to prioritise the work needed to make high-rise homes safe by providing the funding, protecting leaseholders from all costs, and holding those responsible accountable.
I’ve been working on the issue for some time with leaseholders in affected buildings, who are organised in Sheffield Cladding Action Group. In my contribution to the debate I highlighted the evacuation at Wicker Riverside and problems in buildings across the city. I spoke of the impact on “people – often at the start of their working lives, some entering retirement – who have stretched their finances to the limit to buy their home. And now face unaffordable bills to make good the mistakes of others.
I said that these “leaseholders are the victims of comprehensive regulatory failure and that’s why it’s the responsibility of Government to step in. To own the problem and to resolve it. Without any costs falling on leaseholders, either now or in the future”.
There was real concern among MPs across parties and so I regret that the Government instructed their MPs not to support our motion, which was passed overwhelmingly with Conservative MPs abstaining. Unfortunately, the Government are not required to act on this decision, but I’ll continue to campaign on the issue until they do.
Read my speech here or watch it below.