You're not one of us, Grenfell survivors tell inquiry supremo

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The head of the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire was repeatedly told he did not have the confidence of the community at a heated public consultation meeting.

Grenfell survivors and residents applauded as one member of the public told Sir Martin Moore-Bick he did not think he would do them justice in the public investigation.

The retired judge invited contributions from those affected by the deadly blaze as he hosted a second consultation meeting to give residents their say on what they want the investigation to cover.

But he faced calls to resign amid repeated feedback from the room that his panel was not representative of the Grenfell community.

One of the first people to speak said: "I don't think you are going to do us justice.

"I'm just watching you here. We need someone who's real."

Applause broke out from the hundreds gathered in the room inside Notting Hill Community Church on Tuesday, not far from the charred husk of the high-rise.

The speaker added: "We need justice and we need it fast, and we don't need someone who is going to play around for six weeks.

"Six weeks people have had to wait for this and you are only just looking into this now?"

At least 80 people died after the fire tore through the 24-storey tower block in north Kensington, with many of those affected being from BME (black and minority ethnic) backgrounds.

Sir Martin was flanked by his inquiry team including QCs Richard Millett, Bernard Richmond and Kate Grange, inquiry secretary Mark Fisher and a woman junior barrister.

Referencing the make-up of the panel, a woman said: "Look at us. Where is that reflected in you?

"Who are you going to put on the panel to inject trust and confidence?"

Another woman drew applause as she said: "You do not have our confidence, you do not represent us and you do not look like any of us."

Of the multiple suggestions for more diversity in his panel, Sir Martin told the Press Association: "I'm certainly going to give consideration."

Speaking after the two-and-a-half hour meeting, he told reporters he had been chosen for the job "because the 20 years as a judge gives you a lot of experience at analysing the sort of problems that the Grenfell Tower fire poses".

Asked if he felt it had taken too long for the inquiry to get going he replied: "The reason there's been a delay ... is because the Prime Minister decided it would be appropriate to consult with the people and that takes time, and partly because the local people want time to consider their position and their thoughts.

"And that's why we've extended the consultation period to August 4 specifically at the request of local people.

"But of course it does postpone the date we can actually start the work."

Earlier in the meeting Sir Martin told the gathered crowd that he had "no power to do anything in relation to criminal responsibility".

Eve Wedderburn, a community member who set up a petition calling for the entire leadership of Kensington and Chelsea Council to stand down, told Sir Martin he had power to influence the Government.

She said: "It plays badly to a community - who have no hope of the position that you are in - to say to them, 'I do not have the power', because from where I'm sitting you are a very, very powerful man - you have the power to go back to the Government to say this is not good enough."

Sir Martin said he was not going to make any decisions on the terms of reference immediately, but added: "I can tell you that I am considering whether I should be assisted by other people."

He promised that the role of building regulations, the specification of the cladding and insulation, the tower's gas pipes and the role of supervision of works carried out would be considered in the inquiry.

The design and construction of the tower, as well as the decisions that were taken in light of recent works done to the tower would also be looked at.

He said he would also be considering whether the scope of the inquiry should look at the fire's aftermath, but warned that making it too wide would mean the probe taking longer.