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Grenfell: Same cladding still on at least 52 London towers

The same cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower is still on at least 52 tower blocks in London, according to a BBC investigation. 

Polyethylene-based cladding, consisting of aluminium sheets with a polyethylene core, has been found on 24 council tower blocks, 23 housing association buildings and five privately owned high-rises, the BBC revealed.

It is the same type of cladding which, it has been suggested, may have contributed to the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed around 80 people.

Last month, the government revealed that less than 10 per cent of high-rise social housing blocks fitted with cladding have been deemed as safe. 

Across the UK, cladding samples from 294 buildings have now failed flammability tests.

In London alone, fire safety improvements to high-rise buildings are expected to cost councils more than £400m, it emerged last week.

Demand for safety measures post-Grenfell has also led a construction hiring spree, a survey last month found.  

Labour MP for Hammersmith Andy Slaughter, a qualified barrister who previously specialised in housing law, said: “We now know [polyethylene cladding] is used on a huge, industrial scale.

“I am horrified, and it draws attention to the fact that more needs to be done.” 

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman told the BBC: “Following the Grenfell tragedy, we have been working with local authorities and private landlords to identify buildings that might be at risk and ensure action is taken.

“This has included issuing government advice on interim safety measures.

“We have also published clear guidance so building owners can make informed decisions about long-term safety solutions for their buildings.”

Meanwhile, fire chiefs have today called for all new and refurbished UK schools should be fitted with sprinklers in the wake of Grenfell. 

Sprinklers are currently mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and Wales, but not in England and Northern Ireland. 

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