Fury As First Grenfell Tower Inquiry Report Delayed Until October

The report was due this spring.

The publication of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s first report has been delayed until October.

Core participants, including survivors and those who lost relatives in the deadly blaze, were expecting it would be released this spring.

But in a letter obtained by the Press Association they were told on Friday that writing the report “has proved to be a far more complex and time-consuming task than the inquiry had originally anticipated”.

It said: “The chairman will be in a position to write to the Prime Minister with his final report after the parliamentary recess, for publication most likely in October.”

The report follows the first phase of the inquiry, which is limited to what happened on the night of June 14 2017 when fire ripped through the west London tower block, killing 72 people.

72 people diedin the fire
72 people diedin the fire
PA Wire/PA Images

Caroline Featherstone, solicitor to the inquiry, said in the letter that plans for the second phase are continuing and it is still due to go ahead in January 2020.

Natasha Elcock, chairwoman of Grenfell United, the group for survivors and bereaved families, said: “It’s disgraceful the inquiry have underestimated the complexity of the evidence that was produced in Phase 1 and have further delayed the report until autumn.

“That we are only finding this out now, when we were expecting the report to be published ahead of the two-year anniversary. Shows how they continue to disregard survivors and bereaved through this process.”

Justice 4 Grenfell, a group campaigning for those affected by the fire, said: “This has only served to decrease bereaved, survivors and residents’ (BSRs’) confidence in the process further.

“They have already raised the issues of a lack of transparency during the inquiry and a culture of secrecy and exclusion.

“This is another excuse on a long list of shifting the parameters of the inquiry and a lack of willingness to discuss with BSRs how and why decisions are made.”

Deborah Coles, director of Inquest, a charity working with bereaved families, said: “For months now the bereaved and survivors have been led to believe this report would be released in the spring. It is unacceptable that nearly two years on, not one single recommendation has been made.

“This is failing the families and survivors who placed their trust in this inquiry. It is failing those who continue to feel unsafe in their homes.

“It appears that the inquiry team set deadlines for everybody else involved but not themselves.

“Uncertainty around timeframes is causing grief, anguish and anger in the community. We heard this directly in our family consultation day.

“Justice delayed is justice denied. Today’s announcement fails not only bereaved families and survivors but fails us all.”


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