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A PETITION calling on PM Theresa May to build public trust in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry by appointing a diverse panel that would represent the bereaved North Kensington community topped 150,000 signatures today.
This means that it has passed the 100,000-signature milestone to be considered for debate by MPs in Parliament.
The petition demands that the inquiry is not led by a judge alone and that panel members must be appointed with “relevant background, expertise, experience, and a real understanding of the issues facing those affected.”
Lawyers for bereaved families must see all evidence from the start and be allowed to question witnesses at the hearings, it adds.
Organisers Adel Chaoui, Karim Mussilhy and Sandra Ruiz – whose family members were among the official count of 71 people who died in the tower block fire last June – said in a statement: “This week the public have shown they’ve not forgotten about Grenfell.
“Just as they supported us in the immediate aftermath of the fire, when local and national government response was lacking, they’ve backed us again – and demanded the voices of the survivors and bereaved are heard.”
Grime rapper Stormzy, who asked his fans and social media followers on Friday to sign the petition, tweeted “beautiful, legendary people. Job done” after the 100,000-signature milestone was reached.
The musician used his live performance at the Brit Awards last week to take aim at Ms May over the tragedy.
He rapped: “Yo Theresa May, where’s the money for Grenfell?
“What, you thought we just forgot about Grenfell?
“You criminals and you’ve got the cheek to call us savages, you should do some jail time, you should pay some damages, you should burn your house down and see if you can manage this.”
Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon welcomed a debate of the petition in Parliament over the need for a truly representative panel similar to the one involved in the inquiry into the racially motivated murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
He said: “To tackle the obvious current lack of trust, Theresa May should respond positively to this strong show of public support and use her powers under the Inquiries Act to deliver a broad-based inquiry panel.
“The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, which marked a watershed in uncovering institutional racism, had a similar type of panel to the one now demanded by Grenfell survivors and their bereaved families.
“There is no reason for the Conservative government to continue denying this request for a broad inquiry panel.”
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