Horncastle

Two Lincolnshire landlord MPs voted against making houses ‘fit for human habitation’

Louth and Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins and former Lincoln MP Karl McCartney were among the Conservative landlord MPs to vote against an amendment to force landlords to make sure their properties are “fit for human habitation” just last year.

Atkins, who increased her majority to more than 19,000 at last week’s general election, was along with McCartney one of 72 Conservative landlords to vote against an amendment to the current Housing and Planning Bill to ensure houses were kept to a decent standard, The Independent reported.

This comes as the government is facing questions over housing legislation following the Grenfell Tower block fire in London, which engulfed most of the 24 storeys.

A total of 30 people have so far died in the fire, with the number of fatalities expected to rise considerably.

The legislation would have required landlords to bring up and maintain properties to liveable standards, instead of directly implementing safety regulations.

Questions are now being asked about whether more could have been done to stop the fire from causing such devastation and loss of life.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “There will be a great many questions over the coming days as to the cause of this tragedy and I want to reassure Londoners that we will get all the answers.”

Ronnie King, honorary administrative secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group, told LBC presenter Nick Ferrari that there are around 4,000 tower blocks that do not have fire sprinklers fitted into them, and accused the government of ignoring a report published since 2013 calling for this to be addressed.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s new chief of staff Gavin Barwell was Minister of State for Housing and Planning from July 2016 until his defeat in Croydon Central at last week’s general election.

Victoria Atkins has been approached for comment by Lincolnshire Reporter but has not replied in the 24 hours before publication.