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UPDATED: PM: High rise tests found combustible cladding

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Tests on cladding placed on high rise housing have shown combustible material has been used “in a number of cases”, the prime minister has said.

In a statement to the Commons this morning Theresa May said the government had been carrying out checks on tower blocks across the UK following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, which left 79 dead or missing.

Ms May said the relevant councils have been informed and were now working with local fire services and “taking all possible steps to ensure buildings are safe”.

The Department for Communities & Local Government has also been in touch with MPs whose constituents are affected and communities secretary Sajid Javid is due to provide more details later today.

The prime minister also promised a new natonal resilience strategy in the light of what she described as failings by Kensington & Chelsea RBC in its response to the tragedy. She added that “it was right” that chief executive Nicholas Holgate had resigned.

However, responding to her statement Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn questioned the role of Kensington & Chelsea’s political leadership following the “ineptitude and incompetence” of the council as landlord.

He added: “Why aren’t the political leaders taking responsibility for this whole dreadful event?”

Ms May said it would be the first responsibility of the new chief executive to examine the role of the Kensington & Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation, which manages the properties on behalf of the council.

She also said successive governments had “not given enough focus” to social housing, adding that the tragedy had shown that “people who live lives so far removed from many people living in Kensington had been ignored”.

Ms May also confirmed that the benefits received by residents in the tower would not be affected by the £5,000 support payments that have been made available to each household.

She added that the government would also “not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved or on those providing information to identify victims or those assisting with the criminal investigation”.

“We will make sure that all victims, irrespective of their immigration status, will be able to access the services they need, including healthcare and accommodation,” Ms May said.

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