27 January 2020

David Lammy MP voiced the recommendations of INQUEST at a recent debate on the House of Commons on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in January. He raised the importance of a 'national oversight mechanism' to implement recommendations and the reintroduction of a public authority accountability bill to establish a legal duty of candour, as well as the importance of placing bereaved family's voices at the heart of the inquiry.

we now need to create a new independent body—a national oversight mechanism—to make sure not just that the Government accept the recommendations, but that the recommendations are implemented. Because of all we have heard about previous fires, previous reviews, previous inquests, previous recommendations and then inaction, it is really important that we have some kind of body that sees, this time, that implementation flows as result of what everyone has been through.

- David Lammy MP at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry debate

We also need to reintroduce the Public Authority (Accountability) Bill to create a duty of candour from state and private bodies.

- David Lammy MP at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry debate

Read the full debate

INQUEST prepared a briefing for parliamentarians ahead of the debate setting out our key recommendations based on our long running work supporting families bereaved by state related deaths and consultation with families in Family reflections on Grenfell: No voice left unheard:

1. The establishment of a ‘national oversight mechanism’. An independent, public body with the duty to collate, analyse and monitor recommendations and their implementation arising from post death investigations, inquiries and inquests.

2. That the Government and Inquiry team listens to the voices of bereaved families who have made practical and insightful suggestions for change to establish best practice, not just for this Inquiry but for future disasters and inquiries.

3. The reintroduction of The Public Authority (Accountability) Bill to establish a statutory duty of candour on state authorities and officers and private entities whose activities impact on public safety

Download the briefing

Any perception of bias at a time when there needs to be the most searching scrutiny of Arconic undermines trust and confidence. Yet again, the inquiry process is found wanting and it is those most affected left fighting for an inquiry that can deliver truth and accountability.

- Deborah Coles, INQUEST Director told the Guardian

The lead up to Phase two has been overshadowed by issues with Benita Mehra who was appointed just before Christmas as a replacement panel member. It was a bereaved family member who found out that she had a link to Arconic, the company that made the cladding. Just two days before Phase 2 began, Mehra resigned. 

The bereaved and survivors campaigned long and hard for a diverse decision making panel for almost a year before it was agreed by the Prime Minister in May 2018 that a panel would be appointed for Phase 2. The Government must find a suitable replacement as soon as possible.

Read more about INQUEST's work with families on Grenfell.