Today I was interviewed by the BBC in response to the opening of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry by Sir Martin Moore-Bick.
I published the below statement:
The first thing that Sir Martin Moore-Bick has to do is gain the trust of the community. The Grenfell public inquiry is not a trial – the families must come first and it is his job to hold powerful organisations to account on their behalf. For that reason, and for justice to be done and for it be seen to be done, Sir Martin Moore-Bick has to walk alongside the Grenfell families, he has to be on their side and he has to be absolutely fearless when it comes to what went on within the local authority, within the tenant management association and within the various contractors and subcontractors.
In my view the public inquiry terms of reference should have included the wider context of the provision and management of social housing in this country, and I made my views clear to Sir Martin Moore-Bick during the consultation period. I also believe that a panel of advisors or another form of community representation would have been an important step in building trust and legitimacy within the community so I am disappointed that this seems to have been rejected.
We do need answers and we do need them quickly. Only time will tell whether Sir Martin Moore-Bick remains true to his word in not shrinking away from making recommendations that could lead to prosecution and ensuring that this inquiry provides answers to how this tragedy was allowed to happen and who is culpable.