Crewe and Nantwich Labour have questioned why Crewe and Nantwich Conservative MP Kieran Mullan did not vote on a Labour amendment to the Fire Safety Bill which would have implemented the recommendations of Phase 1 of the Grenfell Inquiry.
The Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017 claimed the lives of 72 people and was found to be a result of dangerous cladding. A fire at Beechmere residential care home in which 150 older people lost their homes and belongings drew parallels with Grenfell in 2019. In the wake of these incidents, attention has turned to how to prevent similar incidents in future, with the Grenfell Inquiry being established to examine the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the fire.
The report for Phase 1 of the inquiry was published in October 2019, and a Labour amendment to implement the recommendations of that report was defeated by 318 votes to 188. No Conservative MP voted for the amendment, which would have required owners or managers of residential buildings to check fire doors at least every three months, to provide paper and electronic versions of building plans to local fire services, ensured regular inspections of lifts required for use by firefighters and other measures recommended on by the report. Kieran Mullan, Conservative MP for Crewe and Nantwich, did not record a vote in the division.
Sally Handley, Labour councillor for Crewe St Barnabas (the ward covering the Beechmere residential complex, said “Residents in Crewe St Barnabas and the wider area will want to know why Kieran did not vote on this and, if he was unable to attend, how he would have voted given it looks like Conservative MPs were whipped to vote against the implementation of the recommendations. It is not good enough to focus purely on the issue of timber framing when there are clear issues with fire safety in this country and that is precisely what the Grenfell Inquiry is charged with looking at. The Tories have had three years to act on this and have achieved next to nothing. There is no time to delay while there is still dangerous cladding on buildings.”