Grenfell-style cladding “cover-up” – Open Democracy

From Open Democracy:

Do you live in a block with Grenfell-style cladding and you are not being told about it by your landlords?

If your home was a possible fire risk, you’d want to know, wouldn’t you? If it was covered in Grenfell-style cladding, you’d expect the authorities to tell you, surely?

Think again. 

You’re one of 30,000 people who have backed our call to defend Freedom of Information. Today, we’ve broken another story which shows exactly why this is so important.

It turns out the British government has been advising local councils to block Freedom of Information requests that could identify buildings with similar cladding to that implicated in the tragic 2017 Grenfell fire, which killed 72 people.

It’s the latest scandal which shows just how vital it is that we defend our information rights.

Will you forward this email to everyone you know, and ask them to sign this petition?

Freedom of Information (FOI) laws are supposed to let citizens and journalists get vital information from any public body. Without FOI, we wouldn’t know that MPs were claiming thousands of pounds in taxpayer-funded expenses for duck houses and moats.

But now our FOI rights are under unprecedented attack. Not only has the UK government blocked details of thousands of Grenfell-style fire-risk homes, we’ve also uncovered how a secretive unit inside Michael Gove’s Cabinet Office routinely screens Freedom of Information requests and blocks the release of ‘sensitive’ information across government.

Experts say this ‘Orwellian’ practice is breaking the law – so we’re challenging the government in the courts. But to build the strongest possible case, we need a loud public outcry. 

We have a big campaign planned for the coming weeks: can you share this email with friends, family or colleagues, to let them know what’s going on?