A group of lawyers from different ethnic backgrounds representing survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire say the public inquiry’s terms of reference do not go far enough.
BMELAWYERS4GRENFELL say it still harbours several concerns, but admitting the remit of the inquiry, announced by the Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday (August 15) , were wider than expected.
Among its concerns are the make up of the inquiry team and failure to examine the wider implication of social housing.
Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad has already hit out at the remit , saying it is a “complete betrayal of everything we were promised”.
The BME (Black Minority Ethnic) group had previously called for inquiry chairman to step down after Sir Martin Moore-Bick said following his appointment that his probe may not be broad enough to satisfy the community .
Addressing Sir Martin and his inquiry team in a statement, the group said: “We amplify those concerns expressed by survivors, residents, the wider community and across the country, about the appropriateness of these appointments.
"These concerns remain unaddressed.”
Justice 4 Grenfell has called for community advisors to sit on the “mainly white and middle class” panel, saying it did not “represent the world we come from”.
This was a view shared by BMELAWYERS4GRENFELL, which said: “This serious lack of representativeness and diversity does not inspire public confidence.”
Broader social questions will not form part of the inquiry but Mrs May was “determined” they would not be left “unanswered”.
BMELAWYERS4GRENFELL argue: “The appalling provision and handling of social housing that provides the context to this avoidable disaster must be fully dealt with.
“We believe social housing deserves an independent inquiry of its own to explore whether or not attitudes to building regulations and quality standards are equally applied to all new builds.”
It calls for clarity into the depth of the investigation into the actions of the local authority and other bodies before and after the fire, and also says there should be a permanent stay for undocumented residents living in the tower at the time of the fire.
Currently the government has given a one-year immigration amnesty, but the group argues: “The current derisory 12-months offer form government acts as disincentive to potential witnesses.”
Ranjit Sond, chairman of the Society of Asian Lawyers, said: “We express our disappointment that the terms of reference appear to be too narrow and designed to avoid any responsibility from central government.”
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