'Chaotic consultation with Grenfell Tower victims could lead to inquiry boycott', says Society of Black Lawyers

'Chaotic consultations with Grenfell Tower victims could lead to inquiry boycott', says Society of Black Lawyers

Some of the community have been angered

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Consultation with the Grenfell Tower residents has been ill-thought out and chaotic and could lead to a boycott of the inquiry, according to the Society of Black Lawyers.

Local residents have called for the chair of the Grenfell Tower inquiry Sir Martin Moore-Bick to bring those responsible for the Grenfell Tower fire to justice and have criticised the ethnic makeup of his panel of advisors.

The Society of Black Lawyers has led protests about the makeup of the inquiry team. Its chair, Peter Herbert, told Sam Delaney that the appointments were made by the Prime Minister and her advisors, so cannot be truly representative.

He said the appointments "were made apparently by Theresa May on a recommendation from the Lord Chief Justice so a very extremely narrow circle

"What we were deeply concerned about is you appear to have a judge with no relevant experience of social or public housing, and an inquiry team which seems very heavy on a Eurocentric background and approach.

"Only one of the solicitors out of the three barristers who are there has any experience whatsoever of public inquiries.

"We looked at the consultation, and the consultation has been the most chaotic and ill-thought-through consultation we’ve seen, which i’m sure has led to the anger in the local community.

"As we go forward, the consultation has been without sensitivity. It’s not been in focus groups. No translations [of the language]. Really, we expect far far better."

Herbert believes that if this continues and if the inquiry "repeats the errors of the past years in which the community was not listened to then that simply will lead to anger and  frustration and possibly worst-case scenario, with the inquiry being boycotted completely."

Listen to the full interview above