The leaders of 25 councils have signed a pledge to continue with vital building safety improvements during the pandemic.
The pledge, which was initially agreed by regional mayors and other local leaders, means unsafe cladding on high-rise buildings will continue to be removed during the crisis as long as it can be done in line with public health guidance.
The new signatories include representatives of 18 London councils, as well as leaders in Manchester, Slough, Leeds, Sheffield, Salford and Liverpool.
Building safety minister, Lord Greenhalgh, said: ‘In order to ensure the safety of residents, building safety work must resume where it can be done safely and in line with public health guidance.
’The agreement reached with local leaders from across the country is an important step that demonstrates a shared commitment to ensuring this vital work continues during the pandemic.’
John Biggs, executive mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: ‘Almost three years on from the Grenfell Tower tragedy, delays and inaction on the part of private property owners means there are still too many people forced to go to sleep at night not knowing if they are safe in their homes.
‘It is right that we are focusing as many resources as possible on our coronavirus response, but where work can continue safely, it is also essential that we continue to make progress on vital fire safety work.’