Grenfell: 181 buildings have now failed fire safety tests on cladding

A total of 181 high-rise buildings across 51 local authorities have now failed fire safety tests on their cladding.

Not a single sample has so far passed the urgent tests being carried out on high-rise residential blocks following the fire that killed at least 80 people.

The latest figure is a leap upward from the last figure of 120 released by the Department for the Communities and Local Government.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said that local authorities should not wait for results before carrying out extra checks on buildings fitted with cladding.

It has emerged that fire bosses warned London councils about safety concerns over cladding in May.

However, there is a debate over whether removing cladding from affected building will make them safer, with some expert saying removing the panels could make the situation worse.

Cladding being removed from a building. Credit: PA

Police and officials are still struggling to confirm exactly how many perished in the blaze.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today said that no one who illegally sublet a flat in the building will be prosecuted in an attempt to ensure they get a full picture of who was living in the tower block.

Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council, today also announced that people forced to leave their homes near Grenfell Tower will not be charged rent.

The local authority has been fiercely criticised over its handling of the aftermath of the disaster, with figures in Labour calling for commissioners to be appointed to take over the running of the borough.

A protester carries a banner in support of the Grenfell victims. Credit: PA

On Friday, council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown resigned under increased pressure for his handling of the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.

His departure followed the earlier announcement that the head of the organisation that manages Grenfell Tower was also standing down.

Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation confirmed Robert Black had agreed to "step aside" to "concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry"

Retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick has been appointed to lead the public inquiry, which has led to concern over its scope from survivors, residents and the judge himself.

Victims of the fire could boycott the inquiry into the disaster if the proposed investigation is not widened, campaigners have said.