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KPMG quits Grenfell Inquiry role following public furore

08 January 2018

ACCOUNTANCY FIRM KPMG has stood down from its role as an advisor to the Grenfell Inquiry after public criticism that it’s involvement presented a conflict of interest.

KPMG had been appointed as project management advisor to the Inquiry last week but this led to widespread criticism after it came to light that it is the auditor of three of the firms under scrutiny by the inquiry. Pressure group Research for Action responded by sending an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May demanding that KPMG be removed from its role.

The letter stated: “The failure of KPMG to disclose a clear conflict of interest – that KPMG audit Celotex, the parent company which produced the flammable cladding, alongside its role as auditors of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Rydon Group, the principal contractor, raises serious questions about the professionalism of KPMG and its ability to define and serve the public interest.

“The government must recognise that appointing advisors so closely associated with firms under inquiry can only further fuel rumours of a deliberate cover-up and erode public trust. It is entirely inappropriate to reward RBKC auditors KPMG with Grenfell Tower inquiry work and we urge Government to reverse the decision and to cancel the KPMG contract.”

KPMG has now announced that it will no longer be advising the Inquiry and released a statement that said even though it is confident that no conflict exists between its role advising the inquiry and the company’s work for other clients, it recognises that “strength of opinion about our role risks undermining confidence in the inquiry.

“We share the view that nothing should distract from the important work it is undertaking to better understand the causes of the tragedy at Grenfell tower.”