More UK buildings fail fire tests as politicians trade blame

Then a spokesperson for the Welsh Government said that local authorities needed to test their buildings, but yesterday a Welsh Government spokesperson said they were merely "encouraging" local authorities to take action, but that they had no power to compel testing of cladding in Welsh tower blocks.

But across England alone, some 600 tower blocks are believed to have similar external tiling, The suspect cladding was installed on the 24-storey council-owned Grenfell Tower, which was built in 1974, as part of a refurbishment completed past year.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today announced a new independent expert advisory panel to advise on any immediate measures that can be put in place to make buildings safe following the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Grenfell fire, started by a faulty fridge, spread rapidly up the block, trapping many residents in the upper floors.

"I thank the Secretary of State for appointing me to chair this panel and welcome the opportunity to work with other experts to ensure that our buildings are safe and that we take whatever steps are necessary to ensure such a terrible incident never happens again".

She said: "We are many months from being able to provide a number which we believe accurately represents the total loss of life inside Grenfell Tower". They have since determined that 18 people from those apartments are confirmed or presumed dead. "At this stage, we must presume that no one in those flats survived, that includes anyone who lived there or was visiting them".

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"The Council's Facilities Manager and Chief Fire Officer have reviewed the matter and having regard to the limited extent of the use of the panel, the nature of the use of the building and the fire safety measures installed, the use of the panelling meets all fire safety requirements and does not pose any increased risk to the users of the building".

Police have examined "every imaginable source" of information about who was in the building, "from government agencies to fast food companies", she added.

Renfrewshire Council has conducted comprehensive inspections of its 14 high rise housing blocks following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London.

At Westminster Coroner's Court, officials continued trying to establish how some of the fire victims died.

His inquest was opened alongside three other victims including 24-year-old artist Khadija Saye, her mother Mary Ajaoi Augustus Mendy, 51, and Mohamednur Tuccu, 44, whose body was recovered from close to the nearby leisure centre.

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