Theresa May reveals scope of Grenfell Tower public inquiry

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Theresa May today announced that a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster would officially start today and would probe the cause of the inferno and the response to it.

The Prime Minister accepted in full the recommendations from retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the inquiry, into its scope.

It will cover:

  • The cause and spread of the fire

  •  The design, construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower

  • The scope and adequacy of the relevant regulations relating to high-rise buildings

  • If this legislation and guidance were complied with in the case of Grenfell

  • The actions of Kensington and Chelsea council and other organisations before the tragedy.

  • The response of the London Fire Brigade, local town hall and the Government to the disaster

Sir Martin did not want the inquiry to examine wider consideration of social housing policy, despite calls from survivors and campaigners for it to do so.

He believed it could delay the inquiry and also stray into issues of social, economic and political nature which he did not believe were suitable for such a judge-led investigation.

So the Prime Minister said broader social questions provoked by the fire, which left at least 80 dead, will not form part of the inquiry but she was “determined” they would not be left “unanswered”.

Mrs May added: “It is vital that there is justice for the victims of this appalling tragedy and for their families who have suffered so terribly.

“The terms of reference set out by Sir Martin address crucial issues such as the cause of the fire and the adequacy of building and fire regulations which will allow the inquiry to get to the truth of what happened and learn the lessons to stop a similar catastrophe happening in the future.

“I am determined that the broader questions raised by this fire – including around social housing – are not left unanswered.”

Sir Martin intends to hold a preliminary hearing on 14 September with an initial report dealing with the cause of the fire and its spread by Easter next year. 

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