Boris Johnson denies flats with cladding are unsafe following ITV Calendar interview

  • Sheffield Leaseholder Jenni Garratt responds to the Prime Minister's comments

The Prime Minister has said that leaseholders affected by cladding and building safety issues are living with "unnecessary anxiety" because "many millions of homes are not unsafe".

It follows an ITV Calendar interview with Boris Johnson, in which he was asked about Sheffield resident Jenni Garratt, who faces cladding remediation bills of thousands of pounds.

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield raised this at Prime Minister's Questions.

He said: "My constituent Jenni Garratt has already paid £5,500 for waking watch and alarms...she doesn't know the costs she'll face but it's estimated to be thousands of pounds, yet in his interview, the Prime Minister said she had a 'frankly unnecessary sense of anxiety.'"

He then asked the Prime Minister if he would meet with Jenni, to hear why she's so concerned.

In response, Boris Johnson said he has "every sympathy" with Jenni, but ignored the request to meet her.

He went on to say that "people such as her are placed in a position of unnecessary anxiety about their homes when they should be reassured.

"What people should be doing is making sure that we do not unnecessarily undermine the confidence of the market and of people in these homes because they are not unsafe.

"Many millions of homes are not unsafe."

After watching the Prime Minister's response Jenni told ITV News she was "shocked" he had reiterated that point.

"I am 24 years old...I am having to pay thousands of pounds and that's where the anxiety for many leaseholders comes from and Boris Johnson just doesn't understand that."

In an interview with ITV Calendar in October, Boris Johnson said the government had done "everything we can to fund the repair of building with cladding above 18 metres".

More than four years after the Grenfell Tower fire, thousands of leaseholders across Britain are facing huge bills for the cost of remedial works, hiked insurance charges, 24-hour wardens and flats which are now unsellable.

The government has provided £5.1bn to remediate all buildings with dangerous cladding, despite pressure to increase this, after estimates it will cost closer to £15bn.

If funding is not covered by the government, the costs can still be legally passed on to leaseholders, which is causing huge concerns for thousands across the country.

In Yorkshire alone, 143 buildings have applied for funding.

Paul Blomfield responded to the Prime Minister's response on Twitter calling it "shocking."

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has said new housing secretary Michael Gove was “looking afresh” at the issue to ensure “everything was being done to protect and support those affected”.