Grenfell Tower inquiry head must quit – campaigners

Grenfell Tower inquiry head must quit – campaigners

The Grenfell Tower public inquiry is on the brink of losing survivors’ support unless the judge leading it is replaced, campaigners have said.
Calls for Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s resignation, barely three days into the job, come after he expressed doubt that the process would be broad enough to satisfy all survivors.
Sir Martin, who sits as a judge on Gibraltar’s Court of Appeal, said the inquiry would be “pretty well limited” to examining cause of the fire, how it spread and how to prevent it in future.
That prompted Justice 4 Grenfell, which has been representing survivors, to raise concerns about the scope of the probe, adding: “The whole thing needs to start again.”
Those touched by the tragedy have lobbied for the systemic issues underlying the blaze, in which at least 80 people have died, to be scrutinised.
Sue Caro, a co-ordinator for Justice 4 Grenfell, told the Press Association: “His comments revealed the remit he had been given was the cause of the fire and why it spread so quickly and ensuring it didn’t happen again, well that is not good enough.”
“We met with one of the public inquiry team last week on Friday and he told us they would start consultation from tomorrow for three weeks.”
“However we don’t know if that is going to be an exercise, whether it will be meaningful, whether, having done three weeks of consultation, the remit remains exactly the same, we won’t know.
“Our view is the whole thing needs to start again – there is no confidence in the process.
“He has already said he doesn’t think it is going to satisfy what residents want, why set up an inquiry that you know is not going to do what is required before you’ve even started?
“People who have had the most awful experience ever are not really inclined to keep giving the Government the benefit of the doubt.”
A housing case over which Sir Martin presided in 2014 has been the focus of concerns for some survivors.
In the proceedings he had sided with Westminster City Council’s decision that mother-of-five Titina Nzolameso should be rehoused 50 miles (80km) away.
His ruling was later overturned in the Supreme Court.
With permanent accommodation a worry for many of the Grenfell Tower residents, his involvement in the case had inflamed sensitivities.
Ms Caro added: “The ruling he made was an absolutely disaster for social housing tenants.
“It basically gave councils the green light to socially cleanse. For those reasons as well it is not a great choice.”

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