Grenfell report to be released day before Brexit deadline

Original plans to publish were delayed when realised it was a “far more complex task than anticipated.”

Grenfell memorial with flowers

The conclusions of public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire that claimed 72 lives is due to be published on 30th October – the day before Britain is due to leave the EU.

Conclusions about the disaster will be published and laid before parliament on 30th October, leading to fears among survivors and the bereaved that important lessons will be “overshadowed” by the possibility of the UK crashing out of the European Union.

The chairman of the inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, and his legal team have been drafting the report since the first phase of the inquiry hearing ended in December 2018.

Now, Boris Johnson wrote to the retired high court judge this month saying he must publish the report no later than 30th October.

The inquiry said in a statement on Friday that core participants including the bereaved, survivors and families will receive the report 36 hours earlier “under strict embargo”.

The original plan had been to publish this spring but it was delayed when the team realised it was a “far more complex and time-consuming task than originally anticipated.”

The inquiry report is said to be expected to draw conclusions about the leadership of the London Fire Brigade, including its commissioner, Dany Cotton, who has already announced her retirement, and its preparedness for a cladding fire.

As reported by 24housing, detectives investigating the Grenfell disaster also interviewed London Fire Brigade (LFB) officials under caution in relation to the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Cotton also angered survivors when she said planning for such an event was akin to planning for a “space shuttle landing on the Shard”.

It also investigated in detail how the fire started in a fourth-floor flat and spread to the top of the building in less than 30 minutes through the largely combustible cladding system installed in 2016.

The second phase of the inquiry is due to start in January and will examine the lead-up to the night of the fire, including the decisions made by the owner of the 24-storey tower, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and the landlord, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation.

The plans and decisions made by the tower’s architects, Studio E, the contractor Rydon and the material suppliers including Celotex and Arconic will also be examined.

It has already taken 200,000 documents and the conclusions are not expected until at least 2021, which means that any decisions on charges of manslaughter or corporate manslaughter by the Crown Prosecution Service are not likely to take place until after that.

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