393 people and groups given ‘core participant’ status in Grenfell Tower Inquiry
Some 111 applications have been refused and 41 have been deferred or remain under consideration.
Almost 400 individuals and organisations have been granted “core participant” status in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry which could give them the right to provide opening statements, highlight evidence or suggest lines of questioning.
The inquiry, led by retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, received an “unprecedented” number of applications for core participant status.
So far 393 have been granted, including from 25 organisations and professional bodies, while 111 have been refused and 41 have been deferred or remain under consideration.
In a statement providing an update on its work, the inquiry said the task of taking statements from residents of the west London block and firefighters who tried to tackle the fatal blaze had yet to be completed.
The pace of the process had been “unavoidably affected” by the police investigation into the fire.
The inquiry will look into events on June 14 when a fire ripped through the tower block, killing at least 80 people and leaving hundreds homeless.
It is hoped this strand of the inquiry will be conducted speedily to help prevent similar fires at high-rise blocks.
In the second stage of the inquiry, the refurbishment of the tower will be put under the microscope, investigating how and why it came to be wrapped in flammable cladding and insulation.
It will also examine why residents’ warnings were ignored and look at the response of Kensington and Chelsea Council and central Government after the fire.
Procedural hearings in the inquiry will take place on December 11 and 12.
A statement on the inquiry website sets out the scale of the task facing Sir Martin.
Analysis has begun of more than 200,000 documents received to date, with more to follow, while the interviewing of around 500 witnesses is not yet complete.
The statement said: “The advice from our team of experts is that understanding the conditions within the tower, including the generation and movement of fire and smoke, is of paramount importance.
“To enable the experts to reach firm conclusions, they need evidence of conditions at different levels within the building as the fire and smoke developed, as well as evidence of the development of flames on the outside of the building.”
Evidence from around 225 residents who escaped the blaze and around 260 firefighters will be crucial to this work, the inquiry said.