The Grenfell Inquiry is helping the guilty to escape. It resumed on Monday after staff of companies and organisations involved in work on the tower were assured that their evidence would not be used to prosecute them.
The decision by the attorney general to grant “privilege from incrimination” is a disgrace.
Angry protests from the public gallery forced the inquiry to be temporarily suspended on Monday. Survivors’ group Grenfell United said, “We expect criminal prosecutions at the end of this, and will not settle for anything less.”
Allowing members of the corporations responsible for the fire to protect their role in a public inquiry is a step away from justice—not a move towards it.
And the delays caused by the request could see phase two findings delayed until 2022.
Nearly every day there is evidence of corporate wrongdoing. Evidence given on Monday showed that Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation hired architects to refurbish the tower despite their lack of experience.
They hired Studio E architects without a proper selection process, in order to keep costs down and avoid rules about public contracts.
All of those responsible for the 72 deaths at Grenfell should immediately be charged with corporate manslaughter and gross negligence.