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Independent review into building regulations announced after Grenfell Tower fire

The probe is to be led by Dame Judith Hackitt and will report to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

An independent review into building regulations and fire safety has been announced after the Grenfell Tower blaze exposed widespread risks in high-rise buildings.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said last month’s inferno “raised serious questions” about fire safety, centred on the use of flammable cladding in tower blocks.

The probe is to be led by Dame Judith Hackitt and will report to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the Government said.

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Dame Judith Hackitt, who will lead the probe, will report to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid (pictured) and Home Secretary Amber Rudd (Victoria Jones/PA)

Mr Javid said: “It’s clear we need to urgently look at building regulations and fire safety.

“This independent review will ensure we can swiftly make any necessary improvements. Government is determined to make sure that we learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire, and to ensure nothing like it can happen again.”

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(PA graphic)

The development comes as it was revealed 82 towers failed a new fire safety test which scrutinises the combination of cladding and insulation.

It is the first raft of more comprehensive assessments following a wave of tests which saw hundreds of cladding samples fail standards for flammability in recent months.

The so-called “whole system” tests simulated tall buildings and tested the insulation and cladding materials in conjunction to see how they reacted to different types of fire, the Government said.

Experts have previously flagged concerns that building regulations are unclear on the use of combustible cladding, which paved the way to their use by contractors.

Dame Judith will aim to publish a final report by spring 2018 and an interim report before the close of the year, according to the announcement.

The scope of the probe is to be set by this summer, the Government said, after the terms of reference for the Grenfell Tower public inquiry are established.

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Home Secretary Amber Rudd should receive the final report should be published by spring 2018 (Victoria Jones/PA)

She said: “I am honoured to be asked by Government to lead this important independent review. This review will look at Building Regulations and fire safety to see what changes can be made for the future to make these more effective.

“I am keen to engage widely with industry and the public to inform the recommendations from the review. I want the recommendations to lead to any necessary improvements in the system being made.”

Any recommendations will be acted on “swiftly” by the Government, the DCLG said.

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