Video Loading

The opening hearing of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry takes place on Thursday (September 14) morning.

Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick is expected to read out his opening statement during the hearing, which is expected to last around 45 minutes.

It takes place at Connaught Rooms in Great Queen Street, central London, and is being streamed live and shown at Notting Hill Methodist Church in Lancaster Road .

We will be bringing you all the very latest updates, pictures and video on this news story as it happens.

For all the latest news and breaking news, visit our news section , or follow us on Facebook or Twitter .

Keep up to date with the latest news from west London via the free getwestlondon app.

You can set up your app to see news and events from your area, and receive notifications for any breaking news.

It's available to download, for free, from the App Store or Google Play for Android .

What happened on the opening day of the inquiry?

We’ve rounded up information from today’s inquiry opening into a full story.

You can find it here.

What will Sir Martin look at?

Sir Martin listed 13 issues which will be investigated by the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster. The issues, and some brief details highlighting what each will cover, are:

  • Grenfell Tower’s original design, construction, composition - It will examine whether the tower complied with relevant regulations and legislation
  • Subsequent modifications prior to the most recent - What assessments were made and who was responsible?
  • Modifications to the interior of the building - Were any of the modifications inadequate, and where did failures occur?
  • Modifications to the exterior of the building 2012-2016 (including cladding and insulation) - Why were they carried out, and who was responsible for any failures?
  • The fire and safety measures within the building at the time of the fire - What fire safety measures were in place and were they compliant with building regulations?
  • Inspections - Were inspections compliant with relevant standards?
  • Governance/Management - What was the legal relationship between the different persons and organisations who were responsible for fire safety at Grenfell Tower?
  • Communications with residents - What concerns, warnings and other statements were expressed about the fire safety of Grenfell Tower by its residents or any other person before, at the time of or after the recent renovations, and what was done in response?
  • Fire advice to residents 2012 -14 June 2017 - What was the advice, and was it reviewed regularly?
  • Response to recommendations - To what extent did any failure to implement any recommendations relevant to fire risk cause or contribute to the manner and speed of the spread of the fire at Grenfell Tower, the extent of the damage and the number of casualties?
  • The fire - What was the cause of the fire, how did it progress, and what contributed to it?
  • The response of the emergency services - What plans and strategies did the fire and rescue service have for dealing with a major fire in a high-rise residential building, and what actions were taken on the night of the blaze, including any “stay-put” policy?
  • The aftermath - Was the response of all agencies involved adequate, and if not in what respects was it inadequate?

Emma Dent Coad speaks

Labour’s Kensington MP criticised the setting for Sir Martin’s opening statement, saying its opulence shocked people.

She said: “It was a super sparkly place, it was incredibly inappropriate.

“Why did it have to be in central London? No doubt they could have found a place closer to home for 200 people.”

Anger

As mentioned already, there was anger that Sir Martin did not stay to take questions following his statement.

Among those wanting to speak to him was Michael Mansfield QC.

More reaction from residents

This is from Joe Delaney

K&C Labour leader Robert Atkinson

Cllr Atkinson was was said he had confidence in Sir Martin.

He said: “I was as I expected it to be, it’s what you get when you have a judge in charge of an inquiry.

“A number of people are expecting too much of him. What is being forgotten is there’s a criminal investigation taking place at the same time.

“People wanting arrests need to look to the police investigation rather than the judge.

“His job is to find out what happened and I think he will do that.”

Kensington and Chelsea Labour group leader Robert Atkinson
Kensington and Chelsea Labour group leader Robert Atkinson (Image: PA)

Cross-examination fears

Joe Delaney, from Grenfell Action Group, lived near the stricken building.

He is concerned witnesses won’t be cross-examined during the inquiry

Here's what Lee Jasper from BMELawyers4Grenfell had to say

Chairman's opening statement

Sir Martin’s opening statement is now available to read here.

And here is Prof Imafidon speaking

'We treat dogs better than we treat these victims'

Professor Chris Imafidon was furious that Sir Martin left after giving his statement and did not stay to take questions.

Accusing the chairman of reading his prepared speech “like a robot” he said: “

Why didn’t he take questions from people that have been here all morning? Questions from people that have lost their beloved ones? Questions from widows that sat there?

“Why would he walk out on people that came here just to ask for the truth?

“We’re not asking for justice because we know justice will never be done.”

He continued: “We treat dogs better than we treat these victims.”

“Why would you walk out on the survivors?”

More from Cllr Campbell

Here’s Cllr Campbell speaking outside Connaught Rooms

BMELawyers4Grenfell response

Remember we told you about BMELawyers4Grenfell at the start of the blog?

Lee Jasper represents the group, and said he was disappointed with the “obvious lack of empathy and compassion from the chairman”.

He repeated concerns about the inquiry’s remit and said: “I was disappointed he did not make an effort in relation to the diversity of the panel.”

He added: “All in all I think the public’s trust and confidence in the process has been severely damaged.”

She adds

“We will provide any document they ask for.”

Elizabeth Campbell reaction

The leader of the council has been speaking after Sir Martin’s opening statement.

She said the local authority would “work any way it can with the inquiry”.

Council leader arrives

Here’s Kensington and Chelsea Council leader Elizabeth Campbell arriving for the inquiry earlier today

Statement comes to a close

With that final statement, Sir Martin thanks all those for attending and leaves the room.

So what did we make of that?

'We are all searching for the truth'

Rounding up, Sir Martin says: “We share a common goal, we are all searching for the truth about the cause of the fire and the massive loss of life that it caused and we owe it to those who died and to those whose homes have been destroyed to work together to achieve that goal.”

In the interests of others

Sir Martin said it was in interest of all those who live and work in high rise buildings that findings are made as soon as possible.

Easter 2018 goal

Sir Martin said in a letter to Theresa May that he hoped to be able to produce the first report in Easter 2018. He says this will be limited to the first phase of the inquiry, but that itself is a challenging goal which will require “hard work” and “cooperation” from all concerned

Thousands of documents

Sir Martin expects the inquiry to view “thousands of documents”

Experts to help

Sir Martin will call on experts to give their opinions, provide reports and give evidence if necessary.. He says they will have the kind of knowledge “I do not possess”.

Sir Martin: 'I can make people give evidence'

Sir Martin: “I have the power to require attendance of witnesses and production of documents”

Phases to run in parellel

Sir Martin says Phase Two is expected to take longer than Phase One, but work on both phases will proceed in parallel

TMO and council in the spotlight

Phase Two will also look at the communication between Grenfell residents, the Tenant management Organisation (TMO) and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC) in relation to safety to the tower and the response to these communications

Phase Two

The second phase of the inquiry will look at how the building “became to be so seriously exposed to a disastrous fire”.

It will look at modifications made to the building over the years, and in particular, the last refurb, which saw cladding added to the building.

Trauma

Sir Martin says he is mindful that many people who will give evidence are traumatised. Evidence will be “obtained in a sensitive way”, he said

Comment from resident

Here’s Lancaster West resident Stewart Hall speaking ahead of this morning’s inquiry

Inquiry will be split in two phases

Sir Martin says phase one will look the development of the fire, how and where it started, how it spread and the chain of events until it was extinguished.

It will also look at the response of emergency services and the evacuation of residents.

Large room to accommodate numbers

Sir Martin: “This room was chosen because it was necessary to find space large enough to accommodate the numbers of people it was thought wished to attend.”