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Sunday, June 18

Grenfell Tower:cladding is already illegal in Britain, claims Chancellor

Daily Mail:
Chancellor claims cladding that set Grenfell Tower ablaze is ALREADY illegal in Britain as he passes all questions for the government to the inquiry
  • Attention has focused on the causes of the devastating blaze on Wednesday 
  • Cladding installed on the tower block was flammable and acted as a chimney 
  • The material is illegal in America and Germany but was installed on Grenfell 
  • Hammond today revealed he understood it was also illegal in Britain 
By Tim Sculthorpe, Deputy Political Editor For Mailonline
PUBLISHED: 05:43 EDT, 18 June 2017 | UPDATED: 06:20 EDT, 18 June 2017

Flammable cladding that helped the inferno which destroyed the Grenfell tower is already illegal in Britain, Philip Hammond claimed today.

The Chancellor said criminal probes and a public inquiry into the disaster would answer why the controversial material was used.

Mr Hammond was challenged by the BBC's Andrew Marr today on why the material - which is banned in America and Germany - was used on British homes.

Since the devastating blaze, which killed at least 58, suspicion has focused on how and why the cladding on the building both burned and helped the fire spread by acting a chimney.

It has emerged the cladding used was a cheaper option chosen during a recent refurbishment of Grenfell. Spending just £6,000 more would have meant a non-flammable product.

Mr Hammond told Marr: 'My understanding the cladding in question - this flammable cladding that is banned in Europe and the US - is also banned here.

'So there are two separate questions. Are our regulations correct, do they permit the right kind of materials and ban the wrong kind of materials.

'The second question is were they correctly complied with.

'That will be a question the inquiry will look at, it will also be a question the separate criminal investigation will be looking at.'

It was not clear from Mr Hammond's remarks whether the Government believes the type of cladding panel used is illegal in all circumstances or just above 10m, in line with the manufacturers' guidelines.

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