Cladding scandal: Leaseholders hold demonstration in Leeds

Leaseholders caught up in the cladding scandal have held a demonstration in Leeds today to urge the government to end their financial misery.

Campaigners say they face financial ruin because no-one has yet been held responsible for dangerous structural defects in residential blocks.

Abi Tubis, Campaigner said: "Everyone's going over the top because safety matters but at the expense of the leaseholders. There are people behind me have bills more than their flats cost them. We didn't make these problems we didn't build these buildings incorrectly and we shouldn't pay to fix them."

The government has pledged £5 billion to improve buildings with fire safety issues following the Grenfell disaster four years ago.

Hilary Benn MP, Lab Leeds Central said:"The government is saying we'll pay to remove the dangerous cladding, but if you've got missing firebreaks, if you've got flammable insulation inside, or wooden balconies or other defects we're not paying for that. "

The government says it's bringing forward the biggest improvements to building and fire safety in 40 years. But that cuts little ice with Pippa Hamshaw, who organised today's demo.

She said:"I am potentially going to have a bill of £140,000 to make my building safe which is just obscene. Nobody has that kind of money."

Mr Benn added: "The campaign is building. More and more MPs realise what an injustice this scandal and we're going to keep up the pressure until we win. Because the good people here today should not have to fix a problem that was never, never their responsibility."

And the debate will continue in parliament next week when MPs try to push through legislation which aims to remove any financial burden placed on residents.