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Fire Safety Bill: Govt has turned their back on leaseholders in “national scandal”

April 29, 2021 8:51 AM

Liberal Democrat Peer Kath Pinnock alongside Lib Dem Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper has said that there are the beginnings of a "national scandal" after the Fire Safety Bill passed through Parliament without vital protection for leaseholders and tenants against exorbitant bills for fire remediation works.

Kath Pinnock

Kath Pinnock

Liberal Democrats in both House of Parliament have tabled vital amendments to protect leaseholders and tenants during the passage of the Bill, with Lib Dem Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper initially laying down an amendment in the House of Commons.

But Labour refused to take a stand, abstaining in the vote meaning the measures were defeated in the Lords by 242 votes to 153 - mainly Conservative and Liberal Democrat respectively.

Daisy

Daisy Cooper MP

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and member of the Fire Safety Bill Committee, Daisy Cooper MP said: "The devastating consequences of this Bill passing cannot be overstated. Millions of leaseholders, who are already facing financial ruin through no fault of their own, are now landed with the prospect of even more extortionate bills starting to arrive - perhaps within a matter of days.

"The cladding scandal has been a protracted nightmare for leaseholders, and the government's failure to address the fire safety scandal properly is now a scandal in itself.

"The government has had ten whole months to break the deadlock and propose a solution that they find acceptable but they have refused to compromise. Liberal Democrats have stood up for leaseholders from start to finish against the impacts of this defective Bill, and will continue to do so as the fire safety crisis continues to unfold."

Commenting on the Government's failure to take action on the building safety crisis, Lib Dem Lords Spokesperson for Local Government Baroness Pinnock said: "Over a million leaseholders, through no fault of their own, are facing bills that could lead to severe financial difficulty, bankruptcy, homelessness or worse.

"We gave the Government four separate opportunities to take action to protect leaseholders and tenants during the passage of the Fire Safety Bill. They ignored every single one. Huge bills will continue to land at the feet of leaseholders, and the Government has turned their back on them.

"It was Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper who tabled the original amendment to protect leaseholders and tenants when the bill was first in the Commons. Liberal Democrats have led the charge on this issue, and we have fought for those affected right till the end of the bill's passage.

"This is the beginning of a national scandal - every day the devastating impact of the building safety crisis become more apparent. We will continue to fight for protection for leaseholders and tenants and to highlight the Government's failure to act."