Week 1

Resignation of Panel Member

Newly appointed member of the Grenfell Tower inquiry panel, Benita Mehra resigned just two days before the resumption of the inquiry.  Lawyers for more than 60 participants had urged her to quit.   It was revealed that Ms Mehra, a former president of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), had received funding from the Arconic Foundation for an apprentice conference. Arconic sold the flammable cladding that covered Grenfell Tower.  Requests have been made to the Judge and the Cabinet office for a new panel member to appointed swiftly.

Corporates ‘apply for ‘immunity’.  LFB and FBU Integrity

There were groans from bereaved families and survivors after an 11th-hour application was lodged by some private companies.  Harley Facades, main contractor, Rydon,  Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation and architects Studio E  are asking chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick to write to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC asking for an undertaking that would stop any evidence staff gave being used against them in any future criminal proceedings.  The integrity of the Fire Brigade Union and the London Fire Service was applauded as they chose to give evidence with openness and transparency in Phase 1.

Request for Terms of reference to included institutional discrimination

In his opening statement Imran Khan QC, who represented the family of Stephen Lawrence, said the Grenfell inquiry should follow in the footsteps of the MacPherson inquiry into Stephen’s death in addressing the issue of institutional discrimination. He said Inquiry should review and broaden the terms of reference to examine whether the council and tenant management association were guilty of institutional discrimination on issues of race, religion and class. We also think that disability should be included.