Grenfell Tower cladding banned in UK, Chancellor reveals
Philip Hammond said a criminal investigation would examine whether building regulations had been breached.
Cladding used on Grenfell Tower blamed for spreading the blaze is banned in Britain, Philip Hammond has said.
The Chancellor said a criminal investigation would examine whether building regulations had been breached when the block was overhauled.
Mr Hammond said the public inquiry set up by the Government following the tragedy would also examine if rules had been broken.
He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “My understanding is the cladding in question, this flammable cladding which is banned in Europe and the US, is also banned here.
“So there are two separate questions. One, 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 subject that the inquiry will look at. It will also be a subject that the criminal investigation will be looking at.”
Retro-fitting tower blocks with sprinklers is not always the best way to protect them from fires, Mr Hammond has said.
The Chancellor said the Government wants to see the technical advice before deciding whether to go ahead with such a move.
Leading fire safety experts have said it is not always necessary to retro-fit sprinklers to make a building safe, according to Mr Hammond.
He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “If the conclusion of a proper technical evaluation is that that is the best way to deal with the problem, then of course.
“But my understanding is that the best expert advice is that retro-fitting sprinklers may not always be the best technical way of ensuring fire safety in a building.
“If it is, it should be done, but let’s get the technical advice, properly evaluated by a public inquiry, and then let’s decide how to go forward. If there is something that needs to be done to make buildings safe, it will be done.”
Told that technical advice is not needed to understand that sprinklers would help tackle fires, he replied: “These are technical questions.”