Public inquiry into Grenfell Tower fire to be formally opened today

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy, which killed at least 80 people, will be formally opened today (14th September).

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

Sir Martin Moore-Bick leads the investigation and will give his address in London 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 backlash from the community surrounding the tower block 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 issues that caused the fire back in June to be examined.

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.