Prime Minister appoints new Grenfell Tower Inquiry panel members

Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed two new Grenfell Tower Inquiry panel members.

The inquiry into the deadly blaze is running behind schedule but survivors have welcomed the “step forward”.

Professor Nabeel Hamdi and Thouria Istephan will work on phase two of the inquiry, pencilled in to start next year.

Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower

Prof Hamdi is an academic with an international reputation in housing and participatory design and planning and Ms Istephan is a partner at Foster + Partners architectural practice.

Mrs May said: “I am confident these new appointments will ensure the inquiry panel has the diversity of skills and experience necessary for the scope and complexity of issues to be investigated by phase two of the inquiry’s work.

“This will help get to the truth of what happened, deliver justice and ensure that a tragedy like the fire in Grenfell Tower can never happen again.”

Tower block fire in London
Tower block fire in London

Grenfell United, the survivors and bereaved families group said the announcement was “another step forward in our campaign for truth and justice”.

They said: “We campaigned hard to secure a panel at our Inquiry and thanks to support from 150,000 people across the country, today we’ve got one.

“We fought for this because we are certain that, at every layer, this inquiry will uncover practises that led to the deaths of our loved ones and neighbours, and continue to put lives at risk.

“It is important for us and for everyone in this country that this inquiry gets to the truth and delivers change, so that Grenfell never happens again.

“We hope these new panel members, alongside Sir Martin Moore-Bick, will come to the task with determination to find the truth, courage to speak truth to power and a commitment to deliver change.

“The task ahead of them is immense.”