Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid has ordered local authorities across the country to check whether buildings in their areas have been cladded using materials similar to those at the Grenfell Tower, following the tragic fire which killed at least 79 people.
In line with his role as Communities Secretary, Mr Javid said authorities must identify whether any panels used in new build or refurbishment are a particular type of cladding made of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM).
Mr Javid has been reluctant to state whether the cladding helped spread the cause of the fire while the investigation is still underway and told this newspaper "it’s too early to speculate on the causes of the fire or how it spread".
His department has further stressed that ACM cladding is not dangerous.
Yet he said additional tests are needed with regard to cladding to ease anxiety amongst residents about whether their own blocks are safe.
He said: “We are putting in place a rigorous, government funded testing process for any ACM cladding identified.
“Housing Minister Alok Sharma met representatives from across the housing sector including the Home Builders Federation, Local Government Association and the National Housing Federation. They all expressed their support for this work and gave a commitment that they would progress this with all possible haste.
“It is clear that a considerable amount of work has already been undertaken.
“Councils are working closely with fire and rescue services to ensure that the appropriate safety and response measures are in place and talking to their tenants to hear their concerns.
“Our priority is to reassure people that they are safe in their homes - and that is exactly what we are doing.”