Grenfell fire families challenge government inquiry cover-up

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Grenfell fire families challenge government inquiry cover-up

By
Robert Stevens

5 December 2017

Survivors and families of around 50 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire have threatened to withdraw support from the government’s inquiry.

They are demanding, via a petition, that Prime Minister Theresa May appoint a panel—with decision-making powers—to work alongside the judge of the inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

The petition is backed by the Grenfell United group representing many survivors and families. It calls on May to “exercise her powers under the Inquiries Act 2005 to appoint additional panel members with decision making power to sit alongside Chair in Grenfell Tower Inquiry: to ensure those affected have confidence in & are willing to fully participate in the Inquiry.”

It adds, “To secure trust in an establishment we feel has been distant & unresponsive, & to avoid a collapse of confidence in the Inquiry’s ability to discover the truth, it is fundamental that;

“1. The Inquiry is not led by a judge alone. Panel members must be appointed with relevant background, expertise, experience, & a real understanding of the issues facing those affected.

“2. Legal representatives of bereaved families see all evidence from the start & are allowed to question witnesses at the hearings.”

The petition represents the first major independent challenge to the government’s plans to carry out a cover-up of the events that led to the deaths of at least 71 people.

The inquiry is wholly controlled by the government. Moore-Bick is the only person empowered to say or do anything, but even he has no legal powers to prosecute anyone. His essential role is to report back to the prime minister with the findings and recommendations of the inquiry, with the government deciding what…

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