Thank you for emailing me about the Fire Safety Bill.
I have supported the McPartland-Smith amendment to the Fire Safety Bill since January (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0218/amend/firesafety_rm_ccla_0125.pdf) and I was sympathetic to the aims of the Lord Bishop of St Albans’ amendment. I agree that the issues experienced by affected leaseholders was caused by inadequate building regulation oversight, incompetent building, and incompetent and fraudulent manufacturers. I think that there was no deficiency in the regulations per se, but they were clearly not enforced in many cases and dishonest manufacturers managed to find a way to rig fire safety tests and sell their cladding. Leaseholders who were not on notice about the state of the cladding are not at fault and should not be liable for the remediation costs.
The Fire Safety Bill was absolutely the correct place to address the issue of remediation costs for unsafe cladding and I agree that the concessions made by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government are arbitrary. I do not understand the sense of making distinction between buildings based on height and caveat emptor obviously does not apply to buyers with no prior knowledge of the unsafe cladding.
Ultimately, the amendment was defeated and the Fire Safety Bill was passed unamended. I voted for the bill as there were other provisions with which I agreed. Nevertheless, I continue to support the principle that leaseholders should not have to pay the costs of remediation and I will work with my colleagues from across the House to achieve this objective.