What is the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, when will the report on the fire be published and who is Sir Martin Moore-Bick?

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A PUBLIC inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster was launched in September 2017 and began hearing evidence in public in May 2018.

The inquiry has faced criticism over its choice of leadership and there were calls from survivors and victims' families to broaden its scope. Here's what you need to know.

 Smoke hindered rescue efforts as fires continued to burn with families trapped throughout the buildingGetty Images Smoke hindered rescue efforts as fires continued to burn with families trapped throughout the building

What is the Grenfell Tower Inquiry?

A public inquiry into the cause and spread of the fire officially opened on September 14, 2017 – exactly three months on from the inferno.

In November, it was revealed a total of 71 people died in the disaster.

The toll rose to 72 in January when Maria Del Pilar Burton, 74, died after seven months in hospital.

The inquiry began with Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick giving an opening statement at a central London hotel where victims' relatives and survivors can attend.

A video stream was also set up at Notting Hill Methodist Church close to Grenfell Tower.

Ahead of the inquiry opening, Moore-Bick said: "I would hope to be able to answer the basic factual questions such as how did the fire start, how did it spread, how was it able to engulf the building in such speed and also questions such as what internal precautions there were, what steps were available for alerting residents and allowing them to escape."

The investigation is examining the immediate causes of the fire and its spread, as well as the design and refurbishment of the tower.

At the inquiry opening, Moore-Bick said: "[It] can and will provide answers to the pressing questions as to how a disaster of this kind could occur in 21st century London".

 Retired High Court judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick is leading a public inquiry into the Grenfell disasterPA:Press Association Retired High Court judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick is leading a public inquiry into the Grenfell disaster

On May 21, 2018, the first public evidence sessions began with 72 seconds of silence in memory of the dead.

Tributes to the victims were expected to take up the first two weeks of hearings.

Sir Martin said the fire was "the city's greatest tragedy since World War Two" and described it as "an event of unimaginable horror".

He said: "To experience it even at second hand, in the form of photographs and video recordings is shocking.

"When we die we live on in the memories of those who knew and loved us."

Campaign groups were last week granted their wish for a diverse panel to sit alongside Sir Martin.

Members will be appointed for the second phase of the inquiry, due to start later this year, to not to delay the first part.

The Government also promised to consult on banning flammable cladding from high-rise buildings.

Who is Sir Martin Moore-Bick?

Sir Martin Moore-Bick was appointed by the Prime Minister to be chairman of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry.

His high-profile career spanning 50 years recently came to an end when he retired as lord justice of appeal.

The father-of-four worked in the High Court before joining the Court of Appeal in 2005 where he was an adviser to Lord Chancellors Jack Straw and Lord Falconer.

  • Topics
  • Explainers
  • Grenfell Tower fire

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