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Cheap cladding switch at Grenfell: reports

dpa logodpa 30/06/2017

It's been reported that contractors renovating Grenfell Tower switched to a cheaper and more flammable type of cladding before the deadly fire.

Contractors renovating Grenfell Tower in west London, the site of a massive blaze this month that killed at least 80 people, had switched to a cheaper type of cladding that was more flammable, British media reports.

The switch from an initially planned zinc-covered cladding to a cheaper aluminium type, during work in 2014, saved nearly 300,000 GBP ($A507,975), the BBC reported, cited leaked documents.

The Times said it had seen similar emails urging savings during the program to refurbish the building, which is managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenants' Management Organisation (KCTMO) on behalf of the local council, the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

At a brief council meeting on Thursday, council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown apologised for the local authority's response to the fire.

Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday named a former appeal court judge to head an inquiry into the fire.

"I am determined that there will be justice for all the victims of this terrible tragedy and for their families who have suffered so terribly," May said.

The Grenfell Action Group said it had warned of fire safety risks at the tower, including the cladding, for several years.

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