Housing secretary Michael Gove has admitted the “blame” and said that “faulty and ambiguous” Government guidance led to the tragedy. The fire at the residential tower block in North Kensington, west London, killed 72 people in June 2017 and triggered a public inquiry, chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, which is yet to deliver its final report.
Evidence to the inquiry showed official guidance was widely seen to allow highly flammable cladding on tall building, prompting The Sunday Times to ask Michael Gove if he accepted the rules were wrong.
“Yes,” he replied.
“There was a system of regulation that was faulty. The Government did not think hard enough, or police effectively enough, the whole system of building safety. Undoubtedly.”
He added: “I believe that (the guidance) was so faulty and ambiguous that it allowed unscrupulous people to exploit a broken system in a way that led to tragedy.”
With over five years following the incident, more than four million people have been affected by the fallout and almost 700,000 residents are still living in fire-risk flats all over Britain.
Mr Gove told the publication that he “feels that weight”.
On the window sill in his Westminster office stands a framed photo of a Grenfell billboard: “Never forget.”
After years of dithering, buck-passing and Government delays, Mr Gove is clamping down on the companies that profited from unsafe homes.
The minister will use the so-called “responsible actor scheme”, to be established in the spring, to block such companies from getting planning or building control approval, the newspaper said.
He spent the summer recuperating on the back benches but is now back in his old job, a trusted confidante of Rishi Sunak, with an undiminished appetite for reform.
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