Theresa May has called for a “major national investigation” after results showed cladding on 95 buildings has now failed tests being undertaken in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The Prime Minister made the proposal at Cabinet on Tuesday after hearing how every single piece of cladding tested so far on buildings from 32 different local authorities has been found to be potentially dangerous.
It comes after the firm which supplied the panels used in the cladding of Grenfell Tower stopped global sales for high rise blocks on Monday.
The Government has asked councils and landlords across the country to send samples of any potentially dangerous cladding to London for testing as soon as possible.
During the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Ms May told ministers: “There will need to be a major national investigation into what’s gone wrong, when cladding that’s failing the tests has been fitted on buildings in this country over a number of decades.”
Officials later said the new investigation could form a second phase of the public inquiry already announced focussing on the Grenfell Tower fire, which has claimed the lives of at least 79 people.
Ministers are urging councils and lanlords to send samples for testing faster, pointing out that they have the capacity to carry out 100 tests daily.
Regulator NHS Improvement has also warned staff to check hospital claddings, following fears the combustible type may have been fitted to health service buildings.
US company Arconic said on Monday afternoon it would discontinue sales of Reynobond PE for use in high-rise applications amid growing concern about safety.
The firm said in a statement: “We believe this is the right decision because of the inconsistency of building codes across the world and issues that have arisen in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy regarding code compliance of cladding systems in the context of buildings’ overall designs.”