Announcement that councils will be ‘first port of call’ to pay for improvements raises fears that vital work will be delayed

Councils will be initially asked to fund fire safety improvements to tower blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze, the government has said, prompting concerns from Labour that this could delay vital work.

Giving a statement to the Commons at the start of a debate on the possible remit of the inquiry into the fire, Damian Green was asked whether central government would routinely pay for fire safety works.

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