After an unprecedented four attempts by the House of Lords to force the Commons to amend the Fire Safety Bill, it passed tonight without the protections I have been seeking for leaseholders. I spoke in both debates held this week highlighting the position of leaseholders in buildings across Sheffield.
On Tuesday I highlighted the Prime Minister’s promise to leaseholders, which was being broken by opposing amendments to ensure they faced no costs for fixing fire safety failings which are not their responsibility – leaving so many people in Sheffield and nationwide facing bankruptcy. See my speech below or read it here.
On Wednesday I challenged Ministers on their increasingly weak arguments in opposing amendments – that they agreed with the aims while describing the details as impractical. I pointed out that the seven months since the second reading had given plenty of time for the Government to have come up with better amendments. Read my speech here.
Despite the Bill being sent back to the House of Commons four times, any further ‘ping-pong’ between the two Houses would have risked the Bill not passing and valuable provisions being lost, but the failure to provide greater protection for all leaseholders is a scandal and the fight is far from over. I will continue to use every opportunity to speak out, including when the Building Safety Bill is debated in the new Parliamentary session.