PM challenged to end austerity by backing police and fire services

"Fewer inspectors, fewer building control inspectors, fewer planning inspectors".

May said that test samples of cladding from 120 blocks in 37 local authority areas had not met fire safety standards - a 100% failure rate - and argued that the scale of the problem meant parties should come together over the issue.

In light of the tests conducted to date, she urged people to take preemptive action before results are returned and work with their local fire services to ensure that buildings are safe for residents.

In their manifesto, Labour pledged to lift the pay cap but said it would be up to the public sector pay review bodies to decide what level of increase was appropriate and financially sustainable.

Leading figures in Britain's ruling Conservative Party conceded on Wednesday that tax rises would have to be considered to relieve pressure on straining public services, handing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a coup in the process.

But it calls on the government to recruit more police officers and firefighters and to give the emergency services and other public sector workers a "fair pay rise".

May has come under fire from inside and outside her Conservative party over her strategy for Britain's departure from the European Union and has been forced to scrap many of her planned reforms.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said the Government should back Labour's amendment if it is "serious about addressing all aspects" of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Following the extended PMQs session - which ran around 20 minutes over its allotted half-hour - MPs gathered in the Commons for a debate on the Queen's speech.

The main opposition Labour Party called for a pay raise for public-sector workers, whose salaries have been capped during seven years of austerity, and an end to cuts to police and firefighting budgets.

Last week, Queen Elizabeth II attended the State Opening of Parliament and read out a Brexit-heavy list of the minority government's intentions for the coming two years.

That deal has itself raised questions about austerity, after the government promised £1 billion (S$1.79 billion) in new funding for the province to secure the Democratic Unionist Party's support.

May rejected Corbyn's argument, saying towers had begun to be clad in unsuitable insulation and panels before the Conservatives re-entered government in 2010, and that a Labour administration was first to relax housing inspection rules.

Mrs May should have just enough numbers to vote the amendment down, after striking a deal to stay in office with a small Northern Irish party.

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