Government Defeated Again Over Cladding Scandal In Lords Vote

The government has been defeated again over the cladding scandal as peers backed a fresh bid to ensure flat owners do not have to pay for fire safety work.

The House of Lords passed an amendment proposed by the Lord Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, by 326 votes to 248, to ensure leaseholders do not have to pay for the removal of unsafe cladding from homes.

It sets up a fresh headache for Boris Johnson in the Commons, where Tory MPs are threatening to rebel over what they see as unfair costs being passed to homeowners to fix historic fire safety defects identified after the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Thousands of people living in flats cased in combustible cladding face huge bills after the Grenfell fire revealed major flaws in medium- and high-rise buildings’ fire-safety.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick last month attempted to defuse the row by promising £3.5bn of cash to help homeowners.

But he was accused of “betrayal” of leaseholders as it was revealed the plans would force some leaseholders into taking out loans.

The money will only pay for the removal of cladding in buildings over 18 metres high. 

People living in buildings below that height will have to take out loans, wiping thousands of pounds off the value of their homes.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

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