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Local MP brands scope of Grenfell Tower inquiry a 'complete betrayal'

Local MP brands scope of Grenfell Tower inquiry a 'complete betrayal'
4 min read

Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad has said the terms of the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire amount to a “betrayal” of the victims.

The Labour backbencher said the decision by Theresa May and inquiry chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick not to include broader issues around social housing in the inquiry meant it would "not get to the heart of the matter".

No 10 fully endorsed the proposals put forward by the judge to expose the root causes of the fire which devastated the block and killed at least 80 people.

But Ms Dent Coad suggested the public would have little faith in the investigation because of the “hastily determined” terms.

Elsewhere, Labour frontbencher Chris Williamson branded the scope of the inquiry a “sick joke”, while accusing Mrs May of wanting to forget that “80 working class people burnt to death”.

While factors such as the cause and spread of the fire, the design of the tower and the actions of the local authority were among the list of areas set to face scrutiny, a “broader” look at social housing policy will not be included.

The Government has instead pledged to hold a separate investigation in which Housing Minister Alok Sharma will meet “as many social housing tenants as possible”.

Ms Dent Coad said she had “no confidence” in the “few politically compromised” individuals that are set to lead that investigation however.

In a scathing statement, she said: “We were told ‘no stone would be unturned’ but instead are being presented with a technical assessment which will not get to the heart of the problem: what effects if any the lack of investment into social housing had on the refurbishment project.

“The Government has delegated this responsibility to an in-house team. We have no confidence whatever in the ability of Alok Sharma and a few politically compromised individuals to take on the task of answering this most important question.”

In his letter to Mrs May, Sir Martin said he had “carefully considered” the 550 written consultation responses which were received ahead of the inquiry getting underway.

But Ms Dent Coad – who has previously called on the chair to stand aside – suggested she was sceptical of the depth in which views will have been considered.

“The closing date for response was 4 August, yet somehow Moore-Bick personally managed to consider the detail of all 550 written responses within a short week, producing Terms of Reference which were then agreed by Theresa May over a weekend,” she added.

“How can the community possibly have faith in an inquiry with terms of reference so hastily determined by the Prime Minister and her Government?

“It is a complete betrayal of everything we were promised. Clearly, the Government are running scared.”


Mr Williamson, meanwhile, also said a “deeper investigation was needed” and warned the inquiry will “not deliver justice for Grenfell”.

The Shadow Fire Minister said: "How can Theresa May praise the scope of this inquiry while having the cheek to say that broader social questions will be answered?

“Her announcement today comes as a sick joke. The PM has repeatedly tried to kick Grenfell into the long grass.”

“She wants us to forget the fact that two months ago more than 80 working class people burnt to death in their own homes,” he added.

"But we cannot forget Grenfell. We need a deeper investigation into the systemic causes of the fire.

“Our response to this tragedy should be to expose and do away with this country's laissez-faire model of governance."

Elsewhere, Tottenham MP David Lammy, who lost a friend in the fire, also hit out at the "narrow terms of reference".

In a series of tweets following the Government’s announcement, he said:




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