CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond has said the cladding used on Grenfell Tower is banned from use in the UK and elsewhere.

But his claim has been disputed by the boss of a firm that worked for a sub-contractor on the tower block, who said the material was permitted in both low and high-rise structures.

Hammond said a criminal investigation and public inquiry into last week’s blaze, which killed at least 58 people, would examine whether building regulations had been breached at the west London block.

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He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “My understanding is the cladding in question, this flammable cladding which is banned in Europe and the US, is also banned here.”

However, John Cowley, managing director of CEP Architectural Facades, which made the rainscreen panels and windows for Grenfell Tower’s cladding sub-contractor Harley Facades, said: “Reynobond PE is not banned in the UK. Current building regulations allow its use in both low-rise and high-rise structures.

“The key question now is whether the overall design of the building’s complete exterior was properly tested and subsequently signed off by the relevant authorities, including the fire officer, building compliance officer and architect before commencement of the project.”

Hammond’s remarks came as senior civil servants were called in to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy amid criticism of the way the crisis has been handled by Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Volunteer Nisha Parti claimed that survivors were being given just £10 a day to live on by the council and were unable to access the huge donations pledged by members of the public. She told ITV’s Peston on Sunday: “There is money pouring in from all these amazing volunteers, we can’t get access to it and we cannot get it to the families.”

Among the tributes left close to the building’s charred remains yesterday were Father’s Day cards.

Firefighters leaving the scene were greeted by cheers and applause from the local community.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan attended a local church service to remember those who lost their lives or remain missing. He had earlier suggested that high-rise tower blocks dating from the 1960s and 1970s could be torn down.

Writing in the Observer, Khan said it may well be the “defining outcome of this tragedy that the worst mistakes” of that era become a thing of the past.

The MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, called on Prime Minister Theresa May and the Metropolitan Police to immediately seize all relevant Grenfell Tower documents amid concerns among residents of a cover-up. He said: “We need urgent action to make sure that all records and documents relating to the refurbishment and management of Grenfell Tower are protected.”

Police again warned the death toll from the fire could rise further after confirming at least 58 people had died, or are missing, presumed dead. Eighteen patients remain in hospital after the blaze, including nine who are in critical care.

The figure of 58 confirmed dead would make the Grenfell Tower blaze the deadliest in London since the Second World War.

The Home Office said it was “making arrangements” for the family of 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammad Alhajali – the first victim to be formally identified – to travel to the UK for his funeral.

May has ordered more feet on the ground at the scene after labelling the support given to families in the aftermath of the tragedy “not good enough”.

She said there had been “huge frustrations” on the ground as people struggled to find information, adding: “I have ordered that more staff be deployed across the area, wearing high-visibility clothing, so they can easily be found, dispense advice and ensure the right support is provided.”

More than 250 firefighters tackled the blaze, which London fire commissioner Dany Cotton has likened to a “disaster movie”.

She said crews did not follow normal practice, adding: “Had we followed standard fire brigade procedures, we would not have been able to commit firefighters in and conduct the rescues we did.”