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Campaigners say a socioeconomic perspective can only come from somebody with experience and understanding of how communities like North Kensington operate [Image: AFP/Getty].


It is relatively easy to sympathise with Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s desire not to be seen as biased towards the residents of Grenfell Tower, in his inquiry into the circumstances of the fire that claimed at least 80 (cue derisory laughter) lives.

But if his inquiry is to be impartial, he must find somebody to sit on it who can provide insight into the interests of tower block residents who had little influence on the decisions that were made about their safety.

He needs a resident of another tower block.

Better still, he needs an unemployed tower block resident.

Not only would that provide good publicity for the inquiry, but it would be a fantastic opportunity for whoever was chosen. This Writer has no idea how much the members of a committee of inquiry are paid but my guess is that they don’t come cheap.

And if the chosen candidate makes a good fist of it, the experience could be life-changing.

But will Sir Martin have the wisdom to make such a choice?

If he doesn’t, then he’s the wrong choice to chair the inquiry after all and the heckles he has attracted will have been well-deserved.

The chairman of an inquiry into the deadly fire at Grenfell Tower has refused calls to allow a survivor of the disaster to be part of a team assessing evidence.

Retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who is leading the probe, acknowledged survivors’ concerns about the impartiality of the investigation, but said they could only provide evidence to the inquiry.

Issuing an opening statement at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London, Sir Martin said: “To appoint someone as an assessor who has had direct involvement in the fire would risk undermining my impartiality in the eyes of others who are also deeply involved in the inquiry.”

Instead, Sir Martin, a former judge at the Court of Appeal, said he would approach candidates who were entirely separated from the disaster.

Read more: Grenfell Tower inquiry chairman refuses to let residents who survived fire help assess evidence


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