Media Media releases INQUEST responds to Prime Minister’s decision to appoint panel members to the Grenfell Public Inquiry 11 May 2018 The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has today announced her intention to appoint two panel members for phase 2 of the Grenfell Public Inquiry. Deborah Coles, Executive Director of INQUEST said: “Whilst we welcome today’s announcement by the Prime Minister, it is disappointing that it will only be for phase 2 of the Inquiry. A diverse panel can help to provide some legitimacy that the Inquiry has lacked. It will also go a long way to regain the trust and confidence of those directly affected. Grieving and traumatised people should never have been put in a position where they had to fight for their right to truth and justice. Any future Inquiry into an injustice must ensure diversity of culture and experience of those involved from the outset.” Speaking on behalf of Grenfell United, Adel Chaoui, who lost four relatives in the Grenfell Tower fire, said: “We should not have had to campaign for it, but we are relieved to have finally been granted a panel for the Inquiry. This is a huge step for all of us who are desperate to make sure the Inquiry delivers truth and justice for the loved ones we lost in the fire and those that survived. When we met the Prime Minister a few weeks ago to make our case for a panel we felt she listened to us. Today she has shown she heard us. We thank the Prime Minister for this. We also thank over 100 MPs who came to meet us in Parliament on Tuesday. And we thank the 156,000 people across the country who signed the petition, standing alongside us to make sure our voices were heard. I am so proud that Sandra, Karim and I started the petition along with Grenfell United and spoke up for our loved ones. It shows just how strong, dignified and determined we all are. This panel means that the Inquiry will have the expertise it needs to get to the truth of why our community was not listened to when we raised concerns, why such a dangerous refurbishment could be allowed to go ahead and all the issues that led up to that awful night. These are the questions that need answering to make sure this never happens again. On Monday our much awaited Grenfell Debate will take place in Parliament. We hope MPs will turn up and use the opportunity to speak out for survivors who are still awaiting homes, pledge to work to ensure nothing will stand in the way of finding the truth and ask the Government to commit now to implementing all the recommendations that will come out of the Inquiry. We will continue to campaign fearlessly until we see the changes needed so that everyone across the country is safe in their homes and no community is ever treated in the way our community has been treated”. ENDS NOTES TO EDITORS: For further information, please contact Sarah Uncles on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected] The Prime Minister’s announcement to appoint an additional two decision-making members to the Grenfell Inquiry can be viewed on the Government website. More information on the Inquiry and procedural hearing can be found on the official Inquiry website. Grenfell United and INQUEST produced a Parliamentary Briefing in advance of the debate on Monday 14 May 2018. INQUEST continues to support those affected by the tragedy. INQUEST coordinates the Grenfell INQUEST Lawyers Group, consisting of lawyers representing those bereaved by the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017. The INQUEST casework team are also working with several affected families. INQUEST have been calling for the appointment of a diverse panel from the outset and have written to the Prime Minister on the issue. For the Inquiry INQUEST has undertaken policy, parliamentary and community based work, including putting a submission with proposed terms of reference which is available here. INQUEST attended a parliamentary briefing event in support of Grenfell United on 8 May 2018 which was attended by over 100 cross party MP’s. More information on the work we are doing on the Grenfell Tower fire can be found here. We are also campaigning for the ‘Hillsborough Law’ to ensure those affected by Grenfell should not have to go through the same struggles as the Hillsborough families, and those of many of the families we work with. Important recommendations to strengthen post-disaster investigations and accountability, including the Hillsborough Law, were recently endorsed by Bishop James Jones in the Hillsborough review, which INQUEST and the families we work with contributed to.