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FBU calls for victims to be involved in Grenfell inquiry

20 June 2017

THE FIRE Brigades Union (FBU) has called for the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster to be central to the public inquiry announced by Theresa May last week.

The union says the victims must be given legal representation, paid for by the government and has also called for the inquiry to be broad enough to address the immediate causes of, and response to the disaster, as well as the wider context to these dreadful events.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack has written to Theresa May setting out the union’s position. The letter calls for the victims’ families and survivors to be full participants in the inquiry and for other key agents, including the FBU, to be fully consulted on the terms of reference before the inquiry is finalised.

Matt Wrack said: “The victims of this terrible disaster and the firefighters who fought the fire have questions that need answering. We will work closely with the families and tenants to ensure that they aren’t kept on the margins of this process. The union has to play a central role as participants in the public inquiry, with adequate funding to support that.

“This inquiry needs to look not just at the immediate causes of the fire and the response to it, but also at who was responsible for the building and for any alterations made to it. But it also needs to look much wider at the regulations and the regime that now operates in building control, planning and fire safety. All of these have seen significant changes in the recent past as part of an agenda of de-regulation and cutting so-called ‘red tape’. Those who took those decisions are going to have to start facing the consequences.  

“The FBU regrettably has considerable experience in dealing with inquests after the deaths of firefighters and members of the public. Too many times recommendations are ignored and there is no central monitoring of progress or otherwise. That cannot be allowed to happen here.”