The scandal of the government’s cladding cover-up

The Number 10 Christmas parties during lockdown have dominated the news agenda in recent days – and for good reason. But there has arguably been an even bigger government scandal brewing, one which has largely been overlooked in Westminster. On Tuesday the government told the Grenfell Tower Inquiry that it was ‘deeply sorry’ for the ‘past failures’ which contributed to the devastating 2017 fire which killed 72 people. Apologies always come in varying forms of breadth and sincerity and this one (as is often the case when delivered by an expensive QC) was carefully limited. The government said that it had assumed fire regulations were being monitored ‘at a local

Six ways the state failed to prevent the cladding crisis

Talk to anyone for long enough about the UK’s building safety crisis and you soon will be asked: why are we in such a mess? Why, in one of the wealthiest countries on earth with a functioning planning and regulatory system, are thousands of people currently trapped in homes built with dangerous and combustible materials? How could we have allowed so many unsafe buildings to be built, signed off, sold and inhabited for all these years? Like all questions of this scale, there are multiple answers which combine to form a complex picture. But while people are quick to draw conclusions about reckless builders cutting corners, there is less awareness