A review of building regulations covering fire safety was promised by former Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell last year but not published before today's tragic Grenfell Tower inferno in Kensington.

Mr Barwell, recently appointed chief of staff for Theresa May, told MPs in October that part B of the regulations would be reviewed following the investigation into the fatal 2009 Lakanal House fire in Camberwell.

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The review was never published and fire safety experts claimed the Government's desire to cut red tape could have prevented ministers introducing new safety measures.

Mr Barwell, who was housing minister at the time, told the Commons: "We have publicly committed ourselves to reviewing part B following the Lakanal House fire."

Former chief fire officer Ronnie King, honorary secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on fire safety and rescue, said the regulations "badly need updating" and "three successive ministers have not done it".

He told the Press Association: "It's sad that we always have to go to stable-door legislation.

"Lakanal House wasn't enough deaths to trigger off a major public inquiry. It just went to an inquest, there was no formal report on it."

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He suggested that a Government drive to cut red tape - by insisting that three regulations are removed for every new one created - should be reconsidered when it comes to fire safety.

Asked why he thought the review of building regulations had not been produced, he said: "My own thinking is there was the red tape challenge and they don't really want to put regulation on to businesses, adding a burden.

"It's one of those that if you bring in a new regulation, you have got to give three up to get it."

Asked if he thought the red tape challenge was putting people at risk, he said: "I think where fire safety is concerned, it ought to be reconsidered, this 'one in, three out'."

The all-party parliamentary group had recommended fitting sprinklers to buildings to save lives.

"Buildings like the one today over 30 metres, when they are new, would require fire suppression installed. But there are 4,000 older tower blocks in the UK that don't have sprinklers.

"There are people who would argue that it's too costly and there are other measures that could have been done but it's a fact that people don't die in sprinkler buildings."

Six people died in the Lakanal House fire in 2009 and the coroner who held their inquest wrote to ministers setting out her concerns.

Judge Frances Kirkham recommended that the Government should "encourage providers of housing in high-rise residential buildings" to "consider the retrofitting of sprinkler systems".

Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group, said the Government has resisted calls to install sprinkler systems in high-rise blocks.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who was a firefighter for 20 years, told LBC: "We've been pressing for fire sprinkler systems in buildings where we think it's appropriate - certainly over a height level and in places where there is vulnerability, care homes and in schools - and Government has been resisting that for some time."

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We need to be much more rigorous in what we use in buildings that we're constructing.

"We need to re-examine all these buildings, 50 years on it's a very different world.

"They were built at a time when everyone was madly in love with great big tall buildings. But I think that the risk is worse now than it was then. We need very much tougher regulation."