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Grenfell Tower inquiry ‘failing to deliver,’ survivors say

THE Grenfell Tower inquiry is “failing to deliver” on promises it made to survivors and the bereaved, a group of 11 law firms representing them has said.

Lawyers have accused the probe of leaving families “out in the cold” by not regularly communicating progress, and an “alarming” lack of transparency.

Despite assurances that chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick was expecting to deliver his interim report on the inquiry’s first phase by spring, the Grenfell community still does not have a date for its release.

And while Sir Martin initially said he was aiming for the second part of the inquiry to start at the end of 2019, it will be early 2020 before hearings resume.

Less than a quarter of the 200,000 documents relevant to this phase, which will examine the wider issues surrounding the fire, have been disclosed.

The inquiry team has been aiming to produce the report, based on the first phase of the inquiry, before June 14 — the second anniversary of the fire.

Isabel Bathurst, representing a number of victims’ families for Slater and Gordon, one of the 11 law firms, said: “The families have lost faith in the inquiry and believe the process shows no humanity or fundamental interest in what they are fighting for.

“They collectively feel it is failing to deliver on its intended purpose and those in charge do not comprehend the extent of the trauma the victims and the victims’ families are still suffering every day.”

Campaigning group Grenfell United said: “As we get closer to the second anniversary with no useful information people are increasingly frustrated and anxious.

“They need to put survivors and bereaved back at the heart of this process.”

Labour MP for Kensington Emma Dent Coad told the Star: “The lawyers running the Inquiry are going through a process. Those affected are going through hell.

“There is still very little understanding, let alone accommodation, by those in power of the effects of trauma on the survivors and bereaved of the Grenfell Tower fire. 

“They need to be kept informed at every step as they wait for desperately needed answers as to precisely what happened and why - and who is accountable.

“The Inquiry must keep those affected better involved, with total honesty and openness, to build trust. I hope this letter will encourage the chair to improve communication with those who are waiting for justice.”

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