The minority Tory government has admitted 111 tower blocks have failed its latest round of fireproofing tests, including 90 that are said to be under local authority or housing association management.

This represents a huge, system-wide failure of the regulatory system.

So much for the Tories’ “bonfire of regulations”!

David Cameron was very keen on a metaphorical conflagration of that kind, when he slithered into Downing Street in 2010. One cannot help but wonder how relieved he is that Grenfell happened after he had crawled out, post-EU referendum humiliation.

Now, foreign newspapers are using the expression to make fun of us.

And, of course, the cladding on buildings that have failed the test must be stripped away and replaced – it is a fire risk.

This gives rise to an obvious question:

Who bears the expense?

Logically, in each case, the cost should be borne by those who advised local authorities and housing associations to install flammable cladding – or (in cases we have seen where flammable cladding was installed despite the owners ordering flameproof materials) the companies that carried out the work.

But we don’t live in a logical society.

It is far more likely that the government – as the organisation that cut regulation to the point where this could happen – will have to foot the bill.

And that means we will pay for the mistakes of private companies. Again. As we always do, under Conservative government.

More than 100 buildings have a cladding system that has failed the latest round of government combustibility tests, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has said.

In total, 111 high-rise blocks use a combination of material that failed the second of six new tests rolled out at the recommendation of an independent expert safety panel following the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.

The tests confirmed that a cladding system using aluminium composite material (ACM) panels with a polyethylene filler, and stone wool insulation “does not meet current building regulation guidance”.

Of the affected buildings, 90 are said to be local authority or housing association-owned or managed.

(Source: Grenfell Tower: cladding system in 111 buildings fails latest round of tests)


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