Fire Safety Bill

On Monday 7 September 2020 Parliament voted on the Third Reading of the Fire Safety Bill (2019-21). This Bill makes necessary changes to fire safety law, but it does not go far enough to meet the Government’s pledge to prevent another Grenfell Tower tragedy. 

Recommendations from Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry were published in October 2019, calling for action on building owners or managers to share information with local Fire and Rescue Service about the design and materials of external walls, to undertake regular inspections of individual flat entrance doors and lifts, and to share evacuation and fire safety instructions with residents of the building. At the time, the Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire MP, promised to implement these recommendations “in full” and “without delay”.

Almost three years after Grenfell, the Fire Safety Bill is the first and only piece of primary legislation the Conservatives have brought forward on fire safety. Ministers promised legislation to implement all the recommendations of the first phase of the Grenfell Tower inquiry, however this bill does not include provisions for any of the Inquiry’s recommendations.

HM Opposition Labour Party tabled New Clause 1, a key amendment to this Bill which would have placed robust requirements on building owners or managers and implement the recommendations from Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. The Government voted against this amendment and it was defeated by 318 votes to 188.

The Government have broken a solemn promise to take action following the Grenfell Inquiry.