Dr Julian Lewis: I refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. The Government are rightly working on a scheme to protect blameless leaseholders from financial ruin owing to the cladding scandal, yet as my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Royston Smith) and others movingly explained on Monday, lessees are even now being handed bills well in excess of £70,000 for hugely expensive waking watch arrangements and other costs, which they cannot possibly afford. May we urgently have a Government statement on how to prevent such innocent people from being forced to forfeit their leases, sacrifice their homes and declare themselves bankrupt before the new scheme has been fully activated?
[The Leader of the House of Commons (Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg): The Government have always been clear that leaseholders should not have undue worry about the costs of remediating historical defects that they did not cause. Waking watch arrangements have been in place for far too long, and leaseholders are being left to pick up sometimes very high bills. That is why the Government are providing £30 million for a waking watch relief fund to install fire alarms and other interim measures, providing alternatives to the expensive waking watch systems. I will take this up on my right hon Friend’s behalf with the Secretary of State, but Housing, Communities and Local Government Questions are on 19 April. I point to the measures that the Government have introduced, which my right hon. Friend referred to, which will be of considerable assistance to leaseholders and get the right balance between leaseholders, the taxpayer and freeholders.]