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Theresa May has said tests on tower blocks following the Grenfell tower tragedy have shown cladding on some blocks is "combustible".

Speaking in the Houses of Parliament, on Thursday (June 22), the Prime Minister said local authorities and fire services concerned are taking "all possible steps" to ensure buildings are safe and residents have been informed.

Mrs May also said the tragedy will not be used to carry out immigration checks on those affected by the tragedy or on those providing "vital" information to identify victims or to assist the criminal investigation.

The announcement comes after the Chief Executive of Kensington and Chelsea council resigned and the inquest into the deaths of five Grenfell Tower victims was opened and adjourned.

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Round-up of the day's news

Thank you for joining our coverage today.

Here’s a quick recap of the main developments of the day:

Ealing MP tweets Royal Mail advice for those re-housed in the borough

Kensington's entire council leadership must go, says Mayor of London

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for Kensington and Chelsea’s entire council leadership to go, after the resignation of the chief executive.

Senior official Nicholas Holgate quit, but Mr Khan said the entire leadership of Kensington and Chelsea council should be considering their positions.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and his wife Saadiya Khan arrive for a service at St Clements Church, near to Grenfell Tower
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and his wife Saadiya Khan arrive for a service at St Clements Church, near to Grenfell Tower (Image: PA)

There was “not a chance in hell” that residents “will have the semblance of confidence in that council until they see a change in leadership”, he said.
The Tory council’s leader, Nicholas Paget-Brown, has been severely criticised over the authority’s response to the tragedy.
Mr Khan, who also called for more transparency from Theresa May’s government, said local politicians should take responsibility for what happened.
At an event in Brixton, he told the Press Association:

“There’s no confidence at all in the leadership of the council. I welcome the resignation of the chief executive. It’s still not enough.

“Residents will not have confidence in those in positions of power locally until they see a change.”

Asked if Mr Paget-Brown should consider his position, the mayor said:

“That’s a decision for him and others but I welcome the resignation of the chief executive.

“I think it’s not sustainable for those in positions of power and influence in Kensington and Chelsea to stay there bearing in mind the lack of confidence from those residents.”

Artists for Grenfell song biggest seller in years

120,000 copies were sold of Simon Cowell’s collaboration track, Like A Bridge Over Troubled Water, the biggest launch day of any single this decade.

Kensington MP's first speech in commons laden with sadness

Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad believes the “tears may never stop” following the Grenfell Tower fire.
She added the “burnt-out carcass” of the tower reveals the “true face” of her constituency, with poverty, malnutrition and over-crowding existing alongside wealth.

Labour's MP for Kensington, Emma Coad, asks a question after Theresa May's statement in Parliament
Labour's MP for Kensington, Emma Coad, asks a question after Theresa May's statement in Parliament (Image: PA)

“The horror and fear of this man-made catastrophe will be etched on all our hearts for ever.

“The tears may never stop. I know this from the grief etched on the faces of people in Ladbroke Grove.

“Total strangers approaching me for comfort, reassurance, a question, a hug, to share their fears and disbelief that such horror could be visited upon our neighbourhood.

“And the burnt-out carcass of Grenfell Tower and all it represents lours over us.

“And the Red Cross managing a relief programme in Kensington.”

Fire brigade's advice to those living in high rise buildings

The message to those living in high rise buildings is that the only action you need to take is to make sure that you have normal fire safety measures in place.

London Fire Brigade advises to have safety measures in place
London Fire Brigade advises to have safety measures in place

These include:

  1. Think about how to stop a fire in the first place, take care with cigarettes, cooking and candles, and check electrical products.
  2. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in every room you regularly use as well as in the hallway, Make sure that fire doors are self closing.
  3. Clear escape routes and have an escape plan.

Find out more information on how to keep yourself safe from a fire if you live in high rise or purpose built flats, by clicking here.

London Fire Brigade to carry out safety checks following announcement

London Fire Brigade (LFB) will actively make building safety checks after Theresa May announced that up to 600 buildings in the UK could use the same cladding as Grenfell Tower.

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton observes a minute's silence in memory of Grenfell tower victims
London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton observes a minute's silence in memory of Grenfell tower victims (Image: PA)

In a statement, a spokesperson for LFB said:

“Following the announcement made by the Prime Minister today it is important for Londoners who live in high rise properties to understand what it means for them.

“The government asked for local authorities and other registered providers of social housing to identify whether any panels used on new or refurbished buildings were of a particular type of cladding made of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM).

“In London, the local authorities where these ACM panels have been identified are being contacted and asked to take action. Alongside this work, London Fire Brigade crews will visit the premises identified to check the fire safety of the building and make sure that in the event of a fire, firefighting facilities are all in place.

“The Brigade will also programme more in-depth inspections as part of an on-going process.

“The Brigade will check on all safety aspects, for example that fire doors are correctly fitted and self closing, and that escape routes are clear.

“Officers will also give advice to the housing provider on any immediate actions that need to be taken.”

Flammable cladding warning had been published on manufacturer website

Warnings that the insulation used in the Grenfell Tower refurbishment was flammable were in the public domain before the tragic fire.

Celotex confirmed that it supplied its RS5000 insulation for the £8.6 million renovation of the block, and had published a warning on their website.

Cladding destroyed on the exterior of the Grenfell Tower building
Cladding destroyed on the exterior of the Grenfell Tower building (Image: Daily Mirror)

According to details published online, the material “will burn if exposed to a fire of sufficient heat and intensity”.

It has also been speculated that if a rain-proof layer had been added to the building, a small cavity could have been created, which acted as a wind tunnel and accelerated the spread of the flames.

RS5000, according to Celotex’s website, has a Class 0 rating under UK building regulations, meaning it has the highest rating for preventing the spread of flames and prevents the spread of heat.

Huge fire engulfs the 24 story Grenfell Tower after cladding spreads flames
Huge fire engulfs the 24 story Grenfell Tower after cladding spreads flames (Image: Getty Images Europe)

However, its “health and safety datasheet” notes:

“The products will burn if exposed to a fire of sufficient heat and intensity.

“As with all organic materials, toxic gases will be released with combustion.”

Design specifications suggest the renovation work carried out at Grenfell Tower included plans for a 50mm “ventilated cavity” next to 150mm of Celotex FR5000 insulation, which also has a Class 0 rating.

Probe into whether Grenfell Tower cladding met fire regulations to be published in next 48 hours

The Prime Minister has announced that a probe into whether cladding in Grenfell Tower met fire safety regulations will be published in the next 48 hours.

Theresa May faced questions over whether the material had passed fire and building safety tests when the tower block was refurbished.

Theresa May answers MP questions on the Grenfell Tower disaster
Theresa May answers MP questions on the Grenfell Tower disaster (Image: PA)

Calls were made for combustible materials to be banned in tower blocks during an urgent Commons statement on the deadly fire.
Mrs May said:

“My understanding is the fire service and the Building Research Establishment (BRE) - and BRE were there on the scene very early to look at this issue - they have been identifying the cause of the fire and any contributory factors to the fire.

“They are testing the cladding on the building and they expect to make the results of this public, I think in the next 48 hours.”

House of Commons only 'half full' to debate Grenfell

The House of Commons looked half empty as MPs responded to the Grenfell tragedy, Britain’s biggest disaster in recent years.

Theresa May addressed the chamber to provide updates on the fire, which gutted the tower block and left 79 people confirmed dead or listed as missing, presumed dead, with the death toll likely to rise further.

The number of MPs debating Grenfell Tower only half-filled the Commons
The number of MPs debating Grenfell Tower only half-filled the Commons (Image: PA)

Sadiq Khan makes statement urging landlords to 'test cladding'

Councils given until Monday to reveal blocks using Grenfell cladding

Councils were told to provide the Government with details of the cladding used on high-rises by Monday.

The command comes after three samples were found to be combustible after tests on a “small number” of specimens.

Cladding destroyed on the exterior of the Grenfell Tower building
Cladding destroyed on the exterior of the Grenfell Tower building (Image: Daily Mirror)

Flammable panelling on the outside of Grenfell Tower is suspected to have aided the rapid spread of last week’s blaze, trapping dozens inside.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is coordinating the process and facilities allow for 100 samples a day to be tested.
A Number 10 spokeswoman said:

“So far, three samples have been found to be combustible.”

She added: “In terms of how many buildings and how many homes have this type of cladding, the estimate provided to us by councils is that there are approximately 600 high-rise buildings with similar cladding.

“We are in touch with all the local authorities to encourage them to urgently send us the samples and then we will carry out the checks that we need to see where we are with that.”

Aftermath photos of Grenfell Tower show destroyed cladding on the exterior of the building
Aftermath photos of Grenfell Tower show destroyed cladding on the exterior of the building (Image: Daily Mirror)

In blocks where the cladding is found to be combustible “we will do a further test to make sure the building is safe” and residents could be rehomed.
“Obviously nobody will be living in buildings that are unsafe, they will be rehoused if they need to be and landlords will be asked to provide alternative accommodation where that’s possible,” the spokeswoman said.

Hammersmith MP asks if new social housing would be built

Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith, said the Prime Minister did not answer his question on whether ‘new social homes would be built’ to replace those allocated to Grenfell residents.

Six HUNDRED high-rise buildings could use similar cladding to Grenfell Tower

Hundreds of tower blocks in England could be covered in similar cladding to Glenfell Tower, councils have estimated.
So far tests have revealed that combustible cladding has been found on at least three tower blocks across the UK, the Government has said.
But Downing Street said English councils estimated that 600 high-rise buildings used similar cladding to the block in west London which was the scene of tragedy last week.

Cladding destroyed on the exterior of the Grenfell Tower building
Cladding destroyed on the exterior of the Grenfell Tower building (Image: Daily Mirror)

Combustible cladding on at least three tower blocks - but not yet identified

The Government has confirmed that tower blocks contain the hazardous cladding that aggravated the Grenfell Tower fire, but the names of buildings will not yet be revealed.

Combustible cladding has been found on at least three tower blocks across the UK.
The at-risk buildings are not being identified until the landlords have had the opportunity to inform tenants, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Huge fire engulfs the 24 story Grenfell Tower after cladding spreads flames
Huge fire engulfs the 24 story Grenfell Tower after cladding spreads flames (Image: Getty Images Europe)

Councils were told to provide the Government with details of the cladding used on high-rises by Monday and three samples were found to be combustible.
Flammable panelling on the outside of Grenfell Tower is suspected to have aided the rapid spread of last week’s blaze, trapping dozens inside.

NHS confirms 10 people are still in hospital

NHS England said that 10 patients are still receiving care across four London hospitals.

Five of these are in critical care.

MP who lost friend in blaze speaks out

He said:

“I urge the Prime Minister to say something more about the criminal investigation... most people see this as a crime and they know that rich and powerful organisations get away with crime.

“Why have we not had any commentary on charges, arrests or about the seizure of documents?”

Grenfell public inquiry “must establish the extent and by who”, says Labour Leader

Jeremy Corbyn has said the Grenfell Tower public inquiry “must establish the extent and by who”.
Speaking in Parliament, he said:

“The Grenfell Tower residents and North Kensington community deserve answers and thousands and thousands of people living in tower blocks around the country need very urgent reassurance.”

He said firefighters were “traumatised”, “overstretched and understaffed” in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack and the Grenfell blaze, and called for the “whole issue of the security of our fire service” to be examined.

In the Commons, Mr Corbyn questioned why the political leaders of the council were not “taking responsibility” as well as the chief executive.

Newly-elected Kensington and Chelsea MP, Emma Dent Coad has repsponded to the PM’s statement on the Grenfell disaster.

Labour's MP for Kensington, Emma Coad, asks a question after Theresa May's statement in Parliament
Labour's MP for Kensington, Emma Coad, asks a question after Theresa May's statement in Parliament (Image: PA)

She said:

“I thank the Prime Minister for her kind words - words that must be followed by deeds, speaking on behalf of a traumatised and frightened community who have little trust in authority.

“Early reports suggest there may have been issues with the fire safety audits, and the fire regulations were not sufficiently robust.

“While we wait for the results of the inquiry, which I hope won’t be too long, will the Prime Minister commit to adequate funds to enable emergency services, and particularly the London Fire Brigade, to be fully funded to carry out this work, and reverse the cuts to the funding of fire services that have made their lives so difficult?

“These people have quite literally our lives in their hands. In short, where is the funding?”

In reply, Mrs May said: “When I spoke to emergency services immediately after, in my first visit to Kensington, one of the challenges I gave to them was did they have the resources they needed to be able to do the job that they were doing?

“They assured me that they did.”

The Prime Minister added that the public inquiry into the disaster would investigate things such as tests on the tower.
“I want the inquiry to find these things out as soon as possible, because that could have implications for other local authorities and for other blocks around the country, and we want to ensure people’s safety,” she said.

Jeremy Corbyn slams Kensington and Chelsea leader

Mr Corbyn asked Mrs May why the political leaders of Kensington and Chelsea Council were not “taking responsibility as well for this whole dreadful event”, following the resignation of the chief executive.
He said:

“From Hillsborough, to the child sex abuse scandal, to Grenfell Tower - the pattern is consistent: working-class people’s voices are ignored, their concerns dismissed by those in power.

“The Grenfell Tower residents and North Kensington community deserve answers and thousands and thousands of people living in tower blocks around the country need very urgent reassurance.”

He added that firefighters were “traumatised”, “overstretched and understaffed” in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack and the Grenfell blaze, and called for the “whole issue of the security of our fire service” to be looked at.

Theresa May addresses immigration concerns of Grenfell victims

“I would like to reassure people that we will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved or on those providing information to identify victims or those assisting with the criminal investigation.

“We will make sure that all victims, irrespective of their immigration status, will be able to access the services they need including healthcare and accommodation.”

Jeremy Corbyn responds to the PM's statement in Parliament

Jeremy Corbyn responds to the statement by Theresa May on the Grenfell Tower fire
Jeremy Corbyn responds to the statement by Theresa May on the Grenfell Tower fire (Image: PA)

Jeremy Corbyn has described the Grenfell Tower tragedy as an “outrage” adding:

“Every single one of those deaths could and should have been avoided.”

PM says 'no stone will be left unturned' in Grenfell inquiry

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons (Image: PA)

Mrs May, making a statement to the Commons, said “no stone will be left unturned” in the inquiry.

She also said:

“For any guilty parties there will be nowhere to hide.”

Mrs May said she expects an interim report to be produced as “early as possible” by the chair of the inquiry.