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Tue November 12 2019

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Retired judge appointed to lead Grenfell Tower inquiry

30 Jun 17 Sir Martin Moore-Bick, 71, has been appointed by the prime minister to chair the independent inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick
Sir Martin Moore-Bick

Sir Martin Moore-Bick retired as a Lord Justice of Appeal in December 2016. He was a judge for more than 20 years and heard a wide variety of commercial, civil and criminal cases.

The Grenfell Tower inquiry, established under the Inquiries Act 2005, will be held in public and will report to the prime minister. Sir Martin Moore-Bick will consult with interested parties on the terms of reference for the Inquiry.  The inquiry will have the power to compel the production of documents and to summon witnesses to give evidence on oath.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick said: “The purpose of this independent Inquiry is to discover the truth about what happened at Grenfell Tower, so that we can learn lessons for the future and ensure that a tragedy of this kind never happens again.

“It is vitally important that the inquiry be open, transparent and fair to all those whose involvement with Grenfell Tower comes under scrutiny. It is important for everyone that the inquiry should establish as quickly as possible the cause of the fire and how it was able to spread so quickly to the whole of the building.

“I understand the desire of local people for justice; justice for them, and for all those involved in whatever way, will best be served by a vigorous inquiry that gets to the truth as quickly as possible.”

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The inquiry team will be supported by civil servants seconded from government departments.

Prime minister Theresa May said: “The immediate priority is to establish the facts of what happened at Grenfell Tower in order to take the necessary action to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. But beyond that immediate focus it is also important that all the wider lessons from both this catastrophe, and the inspections of other buildings around the country that followed it, are identified and learnt.

“Before the inquiry starts Sir Martin will consult all those with an interest, including survivors and victims’ families, about the terms of reference. Following that consultation he will make a recommendation to me. I will return to parliament with the final terms of reference once this process has taken place. Then the inquiry will begin its work.

“We must get to the truth about what happened. No stone will be left unturned by this inquiry, but I have also been clear that we cannot wait for ages to learn the immediate lessons and so I expect the chair will want to produce an interim report as early as possible.”

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