Second phase of Grenfell Tower inquiry begins

28 Janvier, 2020, 17:49 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Second phase of Grenfell Tower inquiry begins

Firms involved in building work on London tower bloc that caught fire have sidestepped any responsibility for the 2017 tragedy that killed 72 people, a lawyer for the inquiry said.

Tendering her resignation to the prime minister, the engineer said she recognised and respected the "concern" and "depth of feeling" among survivors and the bereaved about her appointment.

However, Downing Street maintains that there was no conflict of interest.

The second phase of the inquiry will examine how the cladding products were tested, and how the residents' complaints to the tower's management were dealt with.

As the second phase of an inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire opened Monday, the lawyer for the inquiry said that submissions from the firms involved in the building's refurbishment have expressed "no trace" of responsibility for the catastrophic fire.

Benita Mehra tendered her resignation to prime minister Boris Johnson on Saturday, after it was disclosed that she is an immediate past president of the Women's Engineering Society which, according to the society's website, previous year received funding from Arconic - the supplier of Grenfell's cladding - for an apprentice conference.

Families had been threatening to boycott the opening of the second phase of the Grenfell inquiry.

The Grenfell United group said the resignation had helped to "lift growing anxiety ahead of phase two".

But it continued: "The government should never have put families in this situation".

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"They failed to carry out basic checks and understand the importance and sensitivities around a fair and proper process".

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Ms Mehra's resignation was "welcome news" and her appointment should "never have been made in the first place".

Ms Mehra said her role at the WES was unpaid and the grant from Arconic was ringfenced to fund the mentoring scheme.

Since her appointment was announced shortly before Christmas, it has emerged Ms Mehra was an immediate past president of the Women's Engineering Society (WES).

An expert appointed to advise the Grenfell Tower inquiry by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has stepped down following mounting public criticism of her appointment.

The first stage concluded that flammable aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding was the "principal" reason for the rapid spread of fire up the 24-floor building.

Arconic said a "confluence of unfortunate circumstances" rather than the "mere presence" of the panels had caused the spread of the fire.

On Monday, the inquiry will switch from focusing on the night of the fire to the refurbishment of the building and its role in the blaze, as well as issues surrounding building regulations.

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