Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Parallels between unfairness in bad building practice and Horizon scandal – MP

Housing minister Lee Rowley addressed members of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities committee on Wednesday (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Housing minister Lee Rowley addressed members of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities committee on Wednesday (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The housing minister has insisted developers do not feel they’re “getting away with” bad practice, as an MP suggested parallels with the Post Office Horizon IT scandal where “unfairness is just totally hardwired into policy”.

Lee Rowley, minister for housing, planning and building safety, told MPs there has been progress on building safety remediation regarding unsafe cladding.

But members of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) committee put it to him that some developers who have acted badly in the industry have been getting away “scot-free”.

The committee was holding its final session on its inquiry into fire safety looking at the findings of a review into the construction products testing regime which was commissioned following the Grenfell Tower fire to recommend ways of improving the regulation of construction products.

During Wednesday’s session, Conservative MP Tom Hunt said in his Ipswich constituency there were multiple cases where existing regulations had not been followed and some buildings which “frankly, should never have been signed off”.

He said there were “big players who seem to have got away with poor work that has put my constituents in the cruellest form of limbo for a number of years”.

Suggesting some developers appear to be able to “get away scot-free”, he said: “A lot of my constituents think there’s a great sense of unfairness that so many people who’ve been behind this seem to have gotten away with it, whereas the people paying the price are the people who are innocent, who did everything in good faith.”

Tower block fire in London
More than 70 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14 2017 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Mr Rowley said statistics from October showed that overall, almost 800 buildings have had remediation work completed, while around 1,500 are “in the process”.

He added there had been “significant movement on the cladding support scheme”.

He acknowledged: “There is still a residual number of organisations and actors that we need to continue to pursue.”

Labour MP Ian Byrne said there were “parallels with what we’re seeing with the Post Office scandal”.

He added: “It just strikes you all the time, doesn’t it? Where it seems that unfairness is just totally hardwired into policy, where it’s always the person on the receiving end, and these big corporations just get away with it completely all the time.”

He said he was making a plea that this is addressed when the committee makes its report and recommendations to Government “so people can actually say that this place (Parliament) is on the side of the people who are actually being affected, and the people who are doing so much wrongdoing ie bad construction or whatever they’ve done, they actually pay the penalty for it”.

He said currently “what we’re seeing in society is they’re just all getting away with it scot-free”.

Mr Rowley replied: “The developers don’t think they’re getting away with it.

“I mean, when I go and talk to the developers, they’re not happy with the Government because we have spent an enormous amount of time making sure that those who caused the problem are paying for the problem and that’s why there’s the best part of £2 billion that’s been committed from the developers.

“So you can see the down payment. You can see the progress, you can see the pressure that the Secretary of State has put on is yielding results”.

He said while there has been “significant improvement”, there “is more to do in this space”.