A St Albans MP is calling on the government to fund leaseholders facing "devastating" bills.

MP for St Albans Daisy Cooper has called on the government and the new housing minister, Michael Gove, to make funds available to compensate leaseholders now facing massive bills to make their properties safe after the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Addressing the Leaseholders Together Rally in Parliament Square on September 16, she described the fire safety crisis suffered by leaseholders in Grenfell’s wake as “a national scandal of epic proportions”.

Ms Cooper continued: “Now the government is trying to walk away and wash its hands – we won’t let them.

“This is a mess of government making, it is a failure of regulation, it is a failure of enforcement, and it’s a failure to go after those people who are responsible.”

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Daisy Cooper outside Opus House, Charrington Place in St Albans, which is affected by fire safety defects.Daisy Cooper outside Opus House, Charrington Place in St Albans, which is affected by fire safety defects.

“I got involved in the campaign because of my local residents.

“When they came to me more than 18 months ago, they were shocked because their service charge bills had gone from about a grand to about six grand. And that seemed a lot 18 months ago.

“Now they are expecting bills between £150,000 and £200,000.

“And just like you, they are left to live in fire traps, with their mental health and their future plans in tatters.”

Daisy pressed for the financial interests of leaseholders to be protected in the first piece of post-Grenfell legislation, the Fire Safety Act, which received royal assent in April.

She added: “The government’s approach to the cladding and fire safety crisis has been an utter scandal, and that’s why I’ve put forward a 10 minute rule bill currently going through parliament calling for a public inquiry into the government’s catastrophic handling of the crisis.

“My message to Michael Gove in his new job as housing minister is – stump up the cash, make homes safe and go after those responsible.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “We’re spending over £5 billion to fund the replacement of unsafe cladding in the highest risk buildings and are making the biggest improvements to building safety in a generation.

“We’ve been clear throughout, that building owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders – and our new measures will legally require owners of high-rise buildings to prove they have tried all routes to cover the cost of essential safety works.”