Speaking in the House of Commons on the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP called on the Government to introduce compulsory electrical safety tests in all rented homes to protect tenants.
The checks would be required every 5 years, in line with the requirements for gas checks, and paid for by private landlords or in the case of social rented homes, by the council or managing body.
Liberal Democrats in both Houses have long been calling for this reform, and sought to include it in the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The Government put a provision into the Act to enable a Minister to introduce this reform at some point in the future, but stopped short of making it compulsory.
The measure was also in Baroness Grender's Renters' Rights Bill, which gained the support of Labour but was rejected by the Government, despite adopting the primary measure - a ban on letting fees - in their recent Queen's Speech.
The organisation Electrical Safety First has been pushing for reform and calling for electrical safety tests to be compulsory every 5 years.
Wera Hobhouse MP said:
"One month on from this tragedy, there is no less pain for the victims and their families, no less fear, and no less anger for failings of the political system.
"Given the fire seems to have started in a fridge, there must be immediate reform to electrical safety.
"Liberal Democrats have for a long time been fighting for compulsory electrical safety checks to be introduced in rented homes.
"The Government has so far seen this as unnecessary regulation. Now it is surely inexcusable not to make this simple change that has the potential to save lives."
Dave Raval, Hackney Liberal Democrat Spokesperson said:
"Aside from the rapid spread of the fire which obviously contributed to the terrible loss of life in the Grenfell Tower, we must also look at how the fire started and if there is anyway to limit the same danger in the future.
"The organisation Electrical Safety First have been pushing for electrical safety tests every 5 years and the Lib Dems sought to include it in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 but the Government only put in a provision.
"It is important we introduce evidenced based safety measures to stop a tragedy like that of the Grenfell Tower fire from ever happening again."
"Electrical faults are just as much of a fire risk as gas and so it makes absolute sense to bring compulsory electrical checks in line and carry them out every 5 years."