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Labour's Diane Abbott steamrollers Tory minister for calling Grenfell safety a 'technical issue' in furious TV clash; The top MP hit out at Housing Minister Dominic Raab on the BBC's Question Time after a chaotic day for the government.

Byline: Dan Bloom

Labour's Diane Abbott tore into a Tory minister tonight for branding Grenfell safety a "technical issue" in a furious TV clash.

The top MP hit out at Housing Minister Dominic Raab on the BBC's Question Time after a chaotic day for the government.

Ministers revealed today they will "consult" on banning all flammable claddinghours after an official report failed to do so.

But Shadow Home Secretary Ms Abbott demanded ministers "issue a directive today" to enforce a ban.

"Would you live in a house that was covered in combustible cladding?" she asked.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab said it was a "technical issue", adding it was important to get the definition of combustible right.

Shamed government COULD now ban flammable cladding after crucial post-Grenfell report fails to

Landmark report which failed to ban flammable cladding in the wake of Grenfell Tower branded a "betrayal and a whitewash"

He told her: "We've made it very clear we will proceed to ban combustible cladding. We're going to consult on the best way to do it."

But Ms Abbott shot back: "The 71 people that died were not a technical issue.

"You need to step up!"

The pair clashed on the BBC's Question Time less than a mile from Grenfell Tower in London's Kensington and Chelsea.

David Cameron's former No10 policy chief also demanded an immediate ban.

Baroness Cavendish told BBC Question Time: "I think it's completely obvious.

"The one thing surely we must do is ban combustible cladding now."

'I'm sorry it's taken this long': Tory minister makes shamefaced TV apology after being confronted by Grenfell survivor

She added there had been a "race to the bottom in the building industry" and "everone was doing it", adding: "We need to know who was responsible.

There was a furious backlash after Dame Judith Hackitt's official review failed to recommend banning the materialswith campaigners branding it a "whitewash" and a "betrayal".

Instead her report, which was commissioned in the wake of the tragedy which killed 72 people, calls for a new single regulator to be set up, with a tougher testing regime for building owners and managers and more serious penalties for those who choose to "game the system" and put residents at risk.

The Housing Secretary will now consult on banning flammable cladding.

CAPTION(S):

Credit: BBC

"The 71 people that died were not a technical issue. You need to step up!"

Credit: BBC

Housing Minister Dominic Raab said it was important to get the definition right

Credit: BBC

The pair clashed on the BBC's Question Time less than a mile from Grenfell Tower

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Title Annotation:News,Politics
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 18, 2018
Words:433
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