An MP has stepped up his campaign to help thousands of people “trapped” in homes they are unable to sell due to unsafe cladding.

MP for Hendon Dr Matthew Offord has launched a petition calling on the Government to ensure unsafe cladding is replaced within the next 12 months at no cost to leaseholders.

The petition also calls on the Government to urge mortgage lenders to speed up the processing of external wall system (EWS1) forms, which are used to provide evidence that buildings do not contain combustible materials.

Minsters ordered the removal of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from high-rise buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed the lives of 72 people in 2017.

The Government has also set up a £1 billion fund to encourage the removal of other types of cladding that pose a fire safety risk.

Dr Offord said: “Thousands of leaseholders in the Hendon constituency are currently trapped in homes which have no value and are unsaleable. This is due to unresolved combustible cladding work and the need for an EWS1 form.

“Many freeholders have tried to pass on the costs of replacing combustible cladding to leaseholders. I do not believe this is right, and I have been pressing the Government for more than two years in the House of Commons and formally in writing that leaseholders should not have to bear the costs of a situation which is not of their making.”

It comes as councillors in Barnet resolved to lobby the Government for funding to help leaseholders carry out remedial work on their flats.

At a meeting of the housing and growth committee on September 14, Cllr Paul Edwards (Labour, Underhill) urged ministers to commit to funding cladding works where there is no agreement to do so, such as in some housing association and private blocks.

Committee chairman Cllr Richard Cornelius (Conservative, Totteridge) proposed asking the council leader to lobby the Government, as it was something that should be done “at a political level”.

Barnet Council’s deputy chief executive Cath Shaw told the meeting the “vast majority of buildings in the borough that were clad in ACM have had it removed and replaced”.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Our priority is to make homes safer, quicker – that’s why we’re providing £1.6 billion to speed up the removal of unsafe cladding.

“Progress is being made and homes are being made safer with remediation now complete or under way in more than 70 per cent of buildings with ACM cladding – rising to above 90 per cent in the social housing sector.

“However, the Government should not be the only means of funding remediation work – we expect building owners to ensure their buildings are safe without passing remediation costs onto leaseholders.”

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “We continue to work with a range of partners including the Fire Authority to try and resolve outstanding cladding issues in the borough.

“We have been working with property owners to ensure that they are aware of their responsibility for maintaining the safety of their blocks and the government funding that may be available to assist them in doing so.

“Enforcement action will be taken as appropriate where owners do not demonstrate satisfactory progress towards improving the safety of their properties.”

Dr Offord’s petition, which has a deadline of October 25, is available here.