UK: Scapegoating of firefighters for Grenfell deaths exposes fraud of official inquiry


UK: Scapegoating of firefighters for Grenfell deaths exposes fraud of official inquiry

Robert Stevens

1 March 2019

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) General Secretary Matt Wrack has said the government’s inquiry in the Grenfell Tower fire is in danger of becoming a “whitewash.”

He told the Guardian, “The views I am expressing are being expressed more bluntly in fire stations, that this is in danger of turning into a stitch-up of firefighters … the only thing they did on the night was turn up to put a fire out and yet they are the people that have come under most scrutiny so far.”

Wrack continued, “The stark, staring obvious problem is how can you wrap a building in flammable material like that. Everyone asked that within hours and yet we won’t even look at that in three years and before they [the inquiry] start to reach conclusions on it, it could quite easily be 2021.”

Addressing the two-phase structure of the inquiry headed by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, Wrack added, “The order of business was wrong … Before any 999 [emergency] call was made the building was already a death trap. All of the safety arrangements had been compromised, but how we got to that stage we still don’t know.”

The first part of the inquiry opened in September 2017 and didn’t end until last December, 13 months later. At its conclusion, Moore-Bick, the appointee of Prime Minister Theresa May, announced that the inquiry would be halted until at least the autumn of 2019, supposedly so that hundreds of thousands of documents could be scrutinized. The likelihood is that the second phase, dealing with the construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower and the circumstances and decisions leading up to the disaster, will not even begin to take evidence until 2020 and it could then last…

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