ASHTON and Failsworth MP Angela Rayner is calling for immediate action to protect the thousands of people across Greater Manchester who live in accommodation that has Grenfell-style cladding.

Around 20,000 people in Manchester – and 139 in Oldham - are still living in flats with flammable cladding, almost four years after the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in which 72 people died in their homes.

At least 150 high rise buildings in Manchester are still waiting to have dangerous cladding removed, meaning there are around 20,880 people in the city living in unsafe flats, according to average building occupancy data.

Labour has set out its roadmap to safer homes, as analysis shows many thousands of residents across the country are likely to be affected by the cladding crisis.

Only a handful of buildings in Manchester have been fixed so far. Families affected by this crisis cannot sell their homes and have had to endure almost a year of lockdown in flats that are unsafe.

Ms Rayner says the government has repeatedly delayed any action, many leaseholders have been forced to pay thousands of pounds for 24-hour "waking watches". Across the North West as a whole, there are at least 65 buildings with waking watches.

MPs are to vote on the matter in Parliament and Labour is calling for the government to remove the dangerous cladding by paying for it up-front.

Ms Rayner, who is also Labour’s deputy leader, said: “The Tories have tried to avoid this crisis for too long. Every day that passes puts thousands of people in Manchester at unnecessary risk and leaves them with unfair costs.

“I have heard some extremely worrying stories from people who are being asked to pay thousands of pounds in waking watch fees and remediation bills that they cannot afford, all while locked down in dangerous buildings.

“This has gone on too long. The government needs to get a grip and ensure everyone has a safe, secure place to live.”