Grassroots pressure from Grenfell campaigners pushed the PM into bringing two new “experts” onto the fire probe today — but only after core building safety and response issues have already been dealt with.
The push for improved representation, led by Grenfell United, has argued that Establishment figure Judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick should not be the sole voice overseeing the inquiry into the 2017 tower blaze, which killed 71 people and sparked huge protests against council mismanagement.
A series of inquiries widely considered to have been whitewashed by the appointment of senior judges to take charge, including the recent spycop inquiry, have led to enormous cynicism about the use of inquiries in securing justice for victims.
Grenfell United has therefore argued that instituting a more diverse panel of people is required to maintain faith in the process, and gathered a petition of 156,000 to back their campaign. In a statement, they said:
This is a huge step in our fight for justice and truth.
This panel means that the Inquiry will have the expertise it needs to get to the truth of why our community was not listened to when we raised concerns, why such a dangerous refurbishment could be allowed to go ahead and all the issues that led up to that awful night. These are the questions that need answered to make sure this never happens again.
The exact limits to Theresa May’s U-turn however are yet to be revealed, as the “experts” are yet to be named and will only begin work on Phase Two of the process, dealing with issues related to the surrounding fallout from Grenfell, such as communication with residents, failures of management and inspections.
The inquiry will start hearing evidence later this month and formally opens on June 4th.