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Grenfell Tower inquiry chairman meets disaster residents

Retired appeal court judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick arrived for the meeting in west London at around 7pm.

The head of the inquiry into the fatal Grenfell Tower fire is meeting residents and survivors of the disaster for the first time at a centre overlooked by the burnt-out high-rise block.

Retired appeal court judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick arrived for the meeting in west London at around 7pm.

As he entered the centre, Sir Martin told waiting press: “I have been invited by the Lancaster West Residents Association.

“They are all waiting for me so I am not going to give you any comment about credibility.”

It is believed that Sir Martin will be in listening mode and has shown up to hear residents’ views on the shape of his inquiry.

Sir Martin has already faced calls to resign amid criticism and frustration from survivors that the apparent remit of his inquiry may be too narrow.

Draft terms of reference would be expected within days consultations with residents ending on July 14.

The consultation period started yesterday. An official start date for the inquiry has yet to be set.

A campaign group has urged the inquiry to look at the possibility of corruption before and after the fire.

The head of Transparency International said looking into whether corruption played a part should be an “explicit question” in the inquiry.

Robert Barrington, executive director of the group’s UK branch, said assessing whether corrupt practices took place was “central” to the pursuit of truth and justice.

He said: “Although there is no evidence as yet that corruption has had a role to play, our experience from around the world is that there is a high risk that corruption will have played a role.

“This is certainly the perception of the public, and at very least this perception needs to be laid to rest.

“At worst, it is possible that corruption played a part in turning a small domestic fire into a very great tragedy. If that is the case, the truth must be uncovered and the inquiry should be trying to make sure it never happens again.”

One of the many lessons of the Hillsborough disaster was that the right questions “must be asked from the start”, he said, adding: “Whether corruption was involved in the Grenfell Tower fire must be an explicit question, properly and expertly investigated”.

The watchdog will write to Sir Martin to outline three key areas where it said corruption could have taken place.

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