Grenfell Inquiry: Companies claim its ‘someone else’s fault’

Grenfell tower phase 2,

The second phase of the Grenfell Inquiry began on Monday (27 January) to discover how the building came to be covered in flammable cladding during its refurbishment

Grenfell inquiry’s cheif lawyer, Richard Millett QC, revealed that none of the companies involved in Grenfell’s refurbishment accepted responsibility for the fire, as each claimed it was “someone else’s fault.”

Phase 2 will examine the circumstances and causes of the disaster, including how Grenfell Tower came to be in a condition which allowed the fire to spread in the way identified in Phase 1.

Phase 1 of the inquiry established what took place at Grenfell Tower on the night of the fire. This included the cause and origin of the fire, its subsequent development, the loss of life incurred and the response of the London Fire Brigade and other emergency services.

The inquiry is structured in the two phases because the Chairman felt it necessary to first establish exactly what took place at Grenfell Tower on the night of the fire.

All companies deny responsibility

During the beginning of the second phase of the Grenfell Inquiry, Millett said that, with the exception of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – who agreed the refurbishment should not have been signed off – all companies denied responsibility.

Millett stated: “Any member of the public reading those statements and taking them all at face value would be forced to conclude that… nobody made any serious or causative mistakes.”

According to Millet, the initial part of the inquiry revealed the work did not comply with essential details of the building regulations.

Chair of the inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, said there are many complex and unanswered questions that still need to be answered within phase 2.

Panel member resigns

The second stage of the Grenfell Inquiry comes shortly after the Prime Minister announced the resignation of panel member Benita Mehra over links to the charitable arm that supplied Grenfell’s cladding.

According to The Telegraph, a spokesperson for Grenfell United, which represent survivors, said: “We had to fight until the final hours to remove a panelist with connections to Arconic shows us we are still fighting the indifference we faced before and after the fire.

“We have been assured that a new panelist will be added to the inquiry as soon as possible. If that promise looks to be broken in the weeks ahead, we will call for the Inquiry to be put on hold. We deserve a fair crack at justice and will continue to fight for it.”

Phase 2 timetable

The detailed schedule and list of witnesses for each week of hearings will be published on the Inquiry’s website the Friday before each week.

The full timetable for the first week of hearings can be found here.


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