Government U-Turn on Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry Panel:
To: All Branches
In what is a welcomed announcement, the Government has made a U-Turn and agreed that two independent experts will now be appointed to join the panel presiding over the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry.
They will join Judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick for the second phase of the Inquiry, which is due to commence later this month. The announcement comes after pressure from campaigners who claimed the Inquiry would be a whitewash and not take into account key concerns from campaigners, families, survivors and residents.
A petition, which asked for additional and more independent expert panellists, was launched following concerns that Sir Moore-Bick was unable to relate to survivors. It attracted 156,000 signatures. The Prime Minister Theresa May had originally dismissed the request but has now relented and changed her mind. She has confirmed that two additional panellists will be appointed before Phase 2 of the Inquiry begins.
The Prime Minister stated that in order to ensure that the inquiry panel has the necessary breadth of skills and diversity of expertise relevant to the broad range of issues to be considered in Phase 2, and to best serve the increasing scale and complexity of the inquiry, she had decided to appoint an additional two panel members to support Sir Martin Moor-Bick’s chairmanship for Phase 2 of the inquiry’s work onwards.
Sir Moore-Bick awaits the names of those appointed for his consideration under section 7(2)(b) of the Inquiries Act 2005.
The news of the U-Turn has been welcomed by campaigners who are desperate to make sure the Inquiry delivers truth and justice for those lost in the fire and those that survived.
Campaigners thanked the 100 MPs who came to meet them in Parliament recently and the 156,000 people across the country who signed the petition.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer