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Grenfell bereaved get first sight of inquiry report, two days before publication

The blaze claimed 72 lives.

A banner with a green heart is wrapped around Grenfell Tower (Victoria Jones/PA)
A banner with a green heart is wrapped around Grenfell Tower (Victoria Jones/PA)

By Ryan Hooper and Jemma Crew, PA

Survivors and the families of those killed in the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire have been given early sight of the first inquiry report into the disaster, nearly two and a half years after the blaze claimed 72 lives.

Those affected by the tragedy in west London have been given copies of the phase one report, two days before it is made public, amid concerns from members of the affected community that it will largely absolve authorities of serious criticism.

Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick met with the bereaved as the report was handed out on Monday morning, allowing them time to digest its findings, though recipients have been ordered to sign non-disclosure agreements in an effort to stop its contents being leaked.

Former residents want the inquiry to acknowledge that the 24-storey block failed its residents, with allegations that long-standing concerns over combustible cladding and “stay-put” advice for inhabitants during fires fell on deaf ears.

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There are no pictures available for the people shown as a sihouette. Undated handout photos of 72 of the confirmed victims who died in the Grenfell Tower fire (PA)

Members of Grenfell United (GU), one of the groups representing those affected by the tragedy, want Sir Martin to conclude residents were failed, even if he feels the reasons why must be explored in the inquiry’s second phase, which will look into the refurbishment of the building and lead up to the blaze.

It is understood the highly anticipated report will run to at least 1,000 pages and is expected to painstakingly detail the timeline of events around the night of the fire, June 14 2017, in north Kensington.

Sir Martin will also make specific recommendations, which will be made public on Wednesday, 28 months after the fire and following a series of delays which have frustrated the local community.

But there are no plans for him to take questions from the bereaved once they have had a chance to digest his findings, and he is not giving media interviews.

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Firefighters spraying water after fire engulfed Grenfell Tower (Victoria Jones/PA)

Instead, a short pre-filmed speech from Sir Martin will air on Wednesday, when the report is laid before Parliament.

Details of how much the inquiry has cost so far will be released on Friday.

The probe has previously been told by Dr Barbara Lane, an expert witness, that the block was plagued by a “culture of non-compliance” with basic fire safety measures.

Karim Mussilhy, whose uncle Hesham Rahman died in the blaze, said he had very low expectations and that the community’s confidence is “almost non-existent”.

Earlier this month, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) published a report detailing what changes it has already implemented since the fire, but Mr Mussilhy, 33, dismissed it as a “PR stunt”.

The second phase is due to start in the new year.

PA

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