Theresa May’s new Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd, was among the 72 Tory MPs – who are also residential landlords – that voted against a motion to make homes “fit for human habitation.”
Many people have been reposting articles about the debate in Parliament last January in light of today’s tragedy at Grenfell Tower.
Labour submitted an amendment to the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill designed to ensure all rental properties were “fit for human habitation.”
The need to improve fire prevention was explicitly set out by then Shadow Housing Minister Teresa Pearce. Proposing the amendment, she said:
“New clause 53 is about safety and would introduce a requirement for landlords to undertake electrical safety checks. Many organisations from across the sector support the measure, such as the Local Government Association, the London fire brigade, Shelter, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, British Gas, Crisis and the Fire Officers Association. They have all given their support in the past to measures that will see the introduction of mandatory electrical safety checks.
“It is estimated that electricity causes more than 20,000 house fires each year, leading to about 350 serious injuries and 70 deaths across the UK. Carbon monoxide, gas leaks and other fires and explosions cause fewer deaths and injuries, with 300 injuries and 18 deaths—these risks remain serious and it is right that we should continue to monitor them, but that shows what is at stake as regards electrical fires in the home.”
Labour’s amendment was defeated with the help of the 72 Tory MPs who top up their Parliamentary salaries as landlords.
Hurd, who makes at least £20,000 a year rental income from a 2 bedroom flat in Ruislip and a house in London, was among them.
Today, as Police and Fire Minister, he is leading the Government’s response to the Grenfell tragedy…