Judge seeks victims’ views on scope of Grenfell fire inquiry

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Jul 06, 2017
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Residents of the tower block had been warned that the inquiry would not answer all their questions

Neil Hall/Reuters

Sir Martin Moore-Bick has asked the public to help form the terms of reference of his inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed at least 80 people in west London three weeks ago.

The retired Court of Appeal judge has already faced calls to stand down from the post, with some residents of the tower block claiming that one of his judgments could prejudice his view. When on the bench, Sir Martin controversially ruled that Westminster Council was allowed to re-house a tenant 50 miles away. The decision was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Immediately after his appointment as chairman of the inquiry the retired judge also dismayed some tenants and bereaved families by stating that his inquiry was unlikely to be able to answer all their questions.

Yesterday the inquiry team said that Sir Martin “welcomes any suggestions or views” regarding the terms of reference. It listed several points that could “be used as guide”, including: What do you think the inquiry should cover? Is there any type of evidence that you think is essential for the inquiry to obtain?

It suggested that the public could make suggestions about what the inquiry should deal with in its interim report and what should be left for the main report. Victims were also encouraged to discuss whether they would you like to be kept informed of the inquiry’s work.

The inquiry team pointed out that the prime minister had asked it to conduct a public consultation on the terms of reference and make recommendations on what they should cover. It said that Sir Martin wanted “to hear from those directly affected by the fire, or who are otherwise likely to be involved in the work of the Inquiry, but is not restricting this consultation to them”.

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