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Grenfell Tower fire public inquiry formally opens

It will focus on the causes of the fire and the actions of the authorities.

At least 80 people were killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in June.
At least 80 people were killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in June. PA

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy, which killed at least 80 people, will be formally opened today.

The inquiry will focus on the causes of the fire and the actions of the authorities in the build-up to the blaze.

Retired judge, Sir Martin Moore-Bick is the head of the investigation and will give his address at a central London hotel which will be watched by Grenfell residents and victims.

The former Court of Appeal judge will not take questions following the hearing, which is expected to last around 45 minutes.

The chairman faced anger from the community in a series of public meetings designed to help shape the terms of reference but, once these were announced, the inquiry was criticised for excluding an examination of wider social housing policy.

Survivors and campaigners had pressed for systemic issues underlying the cause of the June 14 blaze to be examined.

The inquiry will focus on:

  • The cause and spread of the fire
  • The design, construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower
  • The scope and adequacy of the relevant regulations relating to high-rise buildings
  • Whether the relevant legislation and guidance were complied with in the case of Grenfell Tower
  • The actions of the local authority and other bodies before the tragedy
  • The response of the London Fire Brigade to the fire and the response of central and local government in the aftermath
Sir Martin Moore-Bick, a retired judge, is head of the investigation.
Sir Martin Moore-Bick, a retired judge, is head of the investigation. PA

Labour has warned the Government that the inquiry should not be reason to delay improvement measures to tower blocks.

Shadow housing minister John Healey, in a letter to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, said it is "astonishing" that 13 weeks after the disaster the support for Grenfell survivors is still hopelessly inadequate.

"Thirteen weeks after the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, it is astonishing that ministers still cannot tell tenants and the public how many of the country's 4,000 high-rise tower blocks are not safe, that promises of financial support for urgent work have not been honoured, and that the support for Grenfell survivors is still hopelessly inadequate."

An initial report into the tragedy is due to be published by Easter.

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