Labour's housing chief says the use of cladding on buildings like the Cube should be treated as a “national emergency”.

On a visit to Bolton yesterday, John Healey spoke to students affected by the fire at the tower block on Friday night.

Mr Healey addressed the situation as a “national emergency of building safety” after the blaze broke out at the Cube student accommodation where “fire safety systems comprehensively failed”.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Housing said: “This is a widespread, nationwide problem that can only be dealt with if the government reacts”.

There are currently 267 high-rise blocks around the country with the same ‘Grenfell-style’ cladding on the sides. The government under-went tests on the type of cladding that was on the cube but have not published the results. It is not known how many buildings still have the same HPL cladding on them, same as used on the Cube.

The top floor of the tower was gutted in the blaze and visible damage was caused to the fourth and fifth floors of the six-storey building. Witnesses said what appeared to be a small fire ripped through the upper part of the town centre six-storey building “within minutes”.