Who should be on Grenfell inquiry panel?
Three months after the fire in London's Grenfell Tower in which at least 80 people perished, a panel of inquiry charged with investigating lapses on the part of the rescue teams, authorities and construction firms has begun. Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the judge who will chair the inquiry, has come under fire for deciding against asking survivors to serve on the panel. The British press is divided on the issue.
Panel must be independent
The judge's decision not to ask any of the survivors to serve on the panel of the Grenfell Tower inquiry is justified, the Daily Telegraph believes:
“[E]ver since Sir Martin was appointed, there has been more condemnation than cooperation. It has been implied that he is the wrong colour and class to investigate a tragedy that exposed tensions around both. But Sir Martin is the right person to conduct this inquiry precisely because he can set out to discover what happened without the sense of injustice and grievance felt by those directly involved. ... That, surely, is the point of a judge: to oversee proceedings without a preconceived idea of what happened - neutral and detached but fully apprised of the magnitude of the job and the importance if his conclusions.”
Residents should be involved
The Independent, on the other hand, disagrees with the judge's decision:
“It could be argued that the inquiry concerns the details of the fire, and the residents aren't likely to be experts in that. For example, last November the Grenfell Action Group issued a statement warning of a potential fire, saying: 'We firmly believe only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord.' You can't allow that sort of accurate prediction and articulate analysis into an official inquiry - it would humiliate all the judges who have taken 20 years to compile inquiries made of 3,000 pages of medieval phrases and clumps of Latin.”