Grenfell Tower fire: Inquiry ‘can and will provide answers’


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The inquiry into the Grenfell Rise fire has opened, with its chairman promising it will provide solutions to how the disaster could have happened in 21st century London.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick said he last wishes a not shrink away from making recommendations that could outrun to prosecutions.

But he has faced criticism for refusing to appoint a survivor to the inquiry panel.

Grenfell survivors say they soundless feel like they “have not been listened to”.

‘Unprecedented disaster’

Sir Martin told the hearing that the blaze on 14 June – in which at tiny 80 people died – was a “tragedy unprecedented in modern times”.

“We are acutely knowledgeable that so many people died and that many of those who survived be experiencing been severely affected,” he said.

“We are also conscious that diverse have lost everything.

“The inquiry cannot undo any of that, but it can and command provide answers to how a disaster of this kind could happen in 21st Century London.”

Sir Martin told the perceiving he recognised the “great sense of anger and betrayal” felt by those stricken by the blaze and would examine evidence “calmly and rationally”.

But he rejected orders from survivors to appoint a person from the Grenfell community to the enquiry panel, saying it would “risk undermining impartiality”.

No evidence was agreed on the first day of the hearing, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London, and the recent Court of Appeal judge did not take any questions afterwards.

This elicited heckling at the end of the hearing after Sir Martin appeared to ignore Michael Mansfield QC, who is representing scads of the survivors and attempted to address him.

Solicitor Jhangir Mahmood, who is representing some families, said there was a “huge level of mistrust” among survivors who do not credence in “they have been listened to”.

“He (Sir Martin) really needs to make that on board. Today wasn’t an example of him listening.

“Today was just him laying down the rule book about how he wants to conduct the examination.”

Hamid, who lived on the 16th floor of Grenfell Tower, was also not satisfied with the oldest day of the hearing.

“We are waiting for the answers,” he said.

“We just want to ask some sound outs but no chance. That didn’t happen.”

Joe Delaney, who was evacuated from his unvaried close to the tower, said the investigation into how the fire started was “not the contrariwise question” that needed answering.

“The bigger question here would be why were affairs that were raised ignored?

“Why is he (Sir Martin) already trying to take possession of the behaviour of legal representatives and force them to work together?”

He exit c socialized on: “Sadly now I feel more cautious than optimistic.”

The inquiry’s at the start hearing opened with a minute’s silence for the victims.

Some survivors and injured parties’ families gathered in Notting Hill Methodist Church to watch Sir Martin’s gap statement live on a screen.

A silent march is planned for later on Thursday at the church.


By Tom Symonds, home affairs correspondent

Unlike Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s untimely public appearances – when he was heckled by people who survived the fire or lodged near the tower – his opening statement was heard in silence by Grenfell home-owners and the bereaved.

But there’s still a lack of trust among local woman of a process launched this morning at the lavish Grand Connaught Allowances. They described Sir Martin as an establishment figure presiding over a blatant inquiry surrounded by gold leaf.

Outside, the inquiry’s critics divulged us they were angry at his decision not to appoint survivors as part of a body of assessors who will advise him. The judge says that could wreck his impartiality.

Sir Martin’s speech focused on his strategy for keeping what could be behoove a mammoth inquiry on the rails – this includes splitting it into two forms.

The second, which looks at how the refurbished tower ended up a potential death-trap, could be the profuse complicated.

Sir Martin said the reasoning behind decisions about the turret’s management will be a key area of investigation.

It is likely to look at whether cost-cutting led to to disasters in Britain’s worst ever tower-block fire.

Sir Martin said the query would be split into two phases – with the first examining how the brightness developed and the second looking at how the building became so exposed to the risk of a big fire.

He said there was an “urgent need” to conduct phase one to obtain out what parts of the tower’s design and construction played a role in conceding the disaster to happen.

“That’s important because if there are similar deserts in other high-rise buildings, steps must be taken quickly to effect those who live in them are kept safe.”

The fire started in a fridge freezer and spread lickety-split through the 24-storey tower block in North Kensington, in the early hours of 14 June.

In August it was proclaimed that the actions of Kensington and Chelsea Council, which operated the congest, were to be examined by the inquiry.

The council was criticised for its immediate response to the awaken, which led former leader Nick Paget-Brown to resign.

The inquiry’s fully terms of reference are:

  • The cause and spread of the fire
  • The design, construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Rear
  • The scope and adequacy of the relevant regulations relating to high-rise buildings
  • Whether the relative legislation and guidance were complied with in the case of Grenfell Prison loom
  • The actions of the local authority and other bodies before the tragedy
  • The effect of the London Fire Brigade to the fire and the response of central and local guidance in the aftermath

Labour MP for Kensington Emma Dent Coad said she distressed that some questions would remain unanswered.

“Why this has all happened, how was this countenanced to happen and how the council was sitting on a third of a billion pounds worth of charters and saved £100,000 on the cladding, all of those issues, will they be riposted?”

Downing Street said it was confident the inquiry “will get to the truth of what encountered and learn the lessons to stop a similar catastrophe happening in the future”.

An interim explosion is expected by Easter.

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