Grenfell Tower inquiry report delayed until October

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A report from the Grenfell Tower public inquiry into what happened on the night of the fire in which 72 people were killed on 14 June 2017 will not be published until October, months later than planned, while phase two hearings into the refurbishment of the building won’t start until 2020.

That’s according to an update from the inquiry, which has written to core participants to inform them of the new schedule.

The inquiry said writing the phase 1 report, originally expected in spring this year, had been “far more complex and time-consuming” than originally anticipated.

The report will set out what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, including an almost minute-by-minute description of how the fire started, how it spread, and what happened on each floor of the tower. It also involves a detailed description and analysis of what was happening in the emergency services’ incident control room and on the ground.

In a statement, the inquiry said: “There is a significant volume of evidence to be reviewed and detailed work to be done to ensure findings are properly tied to all relevant parts of the evidence. The chairman [Sir Martin Moore-Bick] is seeking to complete the report as soon as possible but needs to ensure he does not compromise its thoroughness and accuracy. The inquiry must also accommodate sufficient time for the rule 13 process, under which the chairman is required to send warning letters to individuals or organisations that may be subject to criticism in order to give them an opportunity to respond before the report is finalised.

“The inquiry expects the rule 13 process to begin in July and that the chairman will be in a position to write to the prime minister with his final report after the parliamentary recess, for publication most likely in October.”

Meanwhile, preparation for the second phase of the inquiry, which examines the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower and how it came to be in a condition that allowed a fire of this scale to occur, is continuing.

Phase 2 hearings are expected to begin in January 2020. So far, the inquiry has disclosed 36,100 documents relating to phase 2, with more tranches to be disclosed throughout this year. The next tranches of disclosure will include Building Control documents, mechanical and engineering documents relating to the lift and smoke control system, and documents relating to fire risk assessment.