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Grenfell Tower Inquiry terms of reference published

The government has published Sir Martin Moore-Bick's terms of reference for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

The inquiry’s terms of reference are to examine the circumstances surrounding the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017, including: - 

  • The immediate causes or causes of the fire and the means by which it spread to the whole building;
  • The design and construction of the building and the decisions relating to its modification, refurbishment and management;
  • The scope and adequacy of building regulations, fire regulations and other legislation, guidance and industry practice relating to the design, construction, equipping and management of high-rise buildings;
  • Whether such regulations, legislation, guidance and industry practice were complied with in the case of Grenfell Tower and the fire safety measures adopted in relation to it;
  • The arrangements made by the local authority or other responsible bodies for receiving and acting upon information either obtained from local residents or available from other sources (including information derived from fires in other buildings) relating to the risk of fire at Grenfell Tower, and the action taken in response to such information;
  • The fire prevention and fire safety measures in place at Grenfell Tower on1 4 June;
  • The response of the London Fire Brigade to the fire; and
  • The response of central and local government in the days immediately following the fire.

There is little doubt that the construction industry and its working practices will come under the spotlight during the inquiry, given that the design and construction of the building and the decisions relating to its modification, refurbishment and management are key parts of the investigation.

As expected, the scope and effectiveness of building regulations, fire regulations and other legislation, guidance and industry practice relating to the design, construction, equipping and management of high-rise buildings will also be looked at and in particular whether such regulations, legislation, guidance and industry practice were complied with at Grenfell.

The prime minister Theresa May said broader social questions raised by the fire, such as government policy on social housing provision, will not form part of the inquiry but she was determined they would not be left unanswered. “The terms of reference set out by Sir Martin address crucial issues such as the cause of the fire and the adequacy of building and fire regulations which will allow the inquiry to get to the truth of what happened and learn the lessons to stop a similar catastrophe happening in the future,” said May.

“I am determined that the broader questions raised by this fire – including around social housing - are not left unanswered. We are taking action with the housing minister meeting social housing tenants to discuss the challenges they face and we will be setting out further proposals in due course,” she said.

The inquiry's scope was criticised by the Fire Brigades Union, whose assistant general secretary Andy Dark, said: “We are appalled that the inquiry into the worst fire in generations is to be handicapped by such narrow terms of reference that won’t, for example, look at government policy on social housing. The inquiry will be unable to address important issues that will help protect people across the UK.”

The inquiry began on 15 August and will report its findings to the prime minister as soon as possible and make recommendations.