Damning Speech Proves Housing Minister Failed To Act On Tower Block Safety

15 June 2017, 09:39 | Updated: 15 June 2017, 11:37

LBC has uncovered a damning speech from former Housing Minister Gavin Barwell, which proves he failed to follow up promises to review fire risks in tower blocks.

LBC's Political Editor Theo Usherwood has unearthed Mr Barwell, now Theresa May's Chief Of Staff, saying he would review the report into the Lakanal House tragedy.

But despite his promise, nothing was done - and yesterday, at least 12 people died when Grenfell Tower went up in flames in west London.

Gavin Barwell with Theresa May
Gavin Barwell with Theresa May. Picture: PA

In a debate in the Houses of Parliament on 24th October last year, Mr Barwell was asked about his plans for building regulations following the Lakanal House inquiry.

His said: "We have not set out any formal plans to review the buildings regulations as a whole.

"However, we have publicly committed to review Part B following the Lakanal House fire."

Theo explains: "The key bit is Part B. They made the commitment to look at it. It never happened.

"The Tories are pointing out that Mr Barwell was only one Housing Minister. The post of Housing Minister has had a huge turnover of ministers - Mark Prisk, Stephen Williamson, Brandon Lewis and Mr Barwell.

"When you have that high turnover, no one passes on their previous brief as well as they could have done."

A statement from the government insisted they had not "sat on" a fire safety review, saying: "Following the Lakanal House fire, the coroner recommended the guidance relating to fire safety within the Building Regulations was simplified.

"This work is ongoing – including with the publication of a survey in February this year – as our priority is to make sure we have the highest possible standards.

"The Coroner also asked Government to write to councils encouraging them to consider retro-fitting sprinklers, which we did shortly after."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Exclusive
Boris Johnson said if people visit Rwanda they would see it is "going places"

'You'd change your mind about Rwanda if you visited': Boris defends controversial plan

The Prime Minister was grilled by Nick Ferrari on the last day of the Nato summit

Watch in Full: Nick Ferrari grills Boris Johnson

Exclusive
The PM defended sending billions in support to Ukraine during the cost-of-living crisis

PM defends Ukraine aid in cost of living crisis as he's grilled over '£150k treehouse'

'I won't be shopping in Sainsbury's again but I went back for my apology'

Mum slams supermarket after being told off by worker for breastfeeding in car park

'It's not govt policy to arm Taiwan': Foreign Affairs Committee Chair on Liz Truss' gaffe

'It's not govt policy to arm Taiwan': Foreign Affairs Committee Chair on Liz Truss' gaffe

Ben Wallace said Putin was a 'lunatic'

Putin a 'lunatic with small man syndrome' says minister as PM blasts 'toxic masculinity'

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

Nick Ferrari grilled Priti Patel on her Rwanda migrant plan.

Rwanda migrant plan is not 'appalling' but 'should be a deterrent', Priti Patel tells LBC

Exclusive
Lord Bilimoria, outgoing president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) speaks to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

'Reduce taxes now': Outgoing CBI chief calls on Rishi to slash 'highest taxes in 70 years'

Grant Shapps has criticised the RMT leader Mick Lynch.

Rail strike called under 'false pretences' by RMT's '1970s union baron' boss, says Shapps

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Exclusive
The chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy has told LBC the industry can be run more effectively with fewer staff.

'Steam age' railway can be run more effectively with fewer staff, rail boss says

Rail strikes will cause "misery for millions"

'Driving unrest and stoking unrealistic expectations': Minister slams RMT ahead of strikes

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

The minister was speaking to LBC 's Nick Ferrari

Minister calls on Mayor of London to drop congestion charge on rail strike days