The Inquiry has published an update on its work.
This update provides a digest of:
- Phase 2 hearings so far
- The application for an Undertaking from the Attorney General
- The updated module 1 timetable.
- Disclosure figures
- Core participant numbers
- Next public drop-in sessions
Phase 2 Hearings
On 27 January, the Inquiry’s second phase (‘Phase 2’) of hearings began. Phase 2 is an examination of the reasons for why the fire at Grenfell Tower happened. Phase 2 is divided into eight modules, each covering a separate area of the Inquiry’s investigation.
Phase 2 hearings began with opening statements from the legal representatives of core participants in the Inquiry, relating to modules 1, 2 and 3. You can find out more about each of the modules here.
Application for an Undertaking from the Attorney General
During the first week of hearings, the Inquiry received an application from the representatives of some core participants for the Inquiry to request an undertaking from the Attorney General.
After considering the application and submissions from the representatives of other core participants, the Inquiry Panel decided to seek the undertaking. You can read the Panel’s letter to the Attorney General here. Hearings paused while the Attorney General considered the request.
On 26th February the Attorney General wrote to the Chairman, notifying him of her decision to provide an undertaking. You can find the Attorney General’s letter announcing her decision here, together with a factsheet produced by the Attorney General’s Office explaining more about the undertaking.
As set out in the fact sheet, the undertaking provided means that any individual who gives oral evidence to the Inquiry (in Phase 2, modules 1 to 3) cannot have that evidence used in any prosecution against them in the future. It does not cover corporate entities which means that evidence given to the Inquiry can be used against them in any future prosecution. Without an undertaking, a witness at an Inquiry is entitled to refuse to give evidence, if that evidence would tend to incriminate them in future criminal proceedings.
Module 1 Timetable and Next Hearings
Inquiry hearings will resume at 10am on Monday 2nd March.
With opening submissions complete, the Inquiry will now begin module 1 hearings. The Inquiry will hear from approximately 40 witnesses in module 1. You can read about the process for questioning witnesses in our guide here.
In February, the Inquiry received a letter from the Prime Minister stating his intention to appoint an additional Panel Member. A search company will be used to identify a shortlist of suitable candidates.
As of 21 February 2020, the Inquiry has disclosed 20,753 in Phase 1, and 106, 909 in Phase 2, coming to a total of 127,662.
The full list of the Inquiry's core participants (CPs) is available on the key documents page. Further information on CPs is covered in our guide, which includes details of the role they play in the Inquiry, and how this differs from being a witness.
715 individuals have applied for CP status, of which 608 have been granted.
77 organisations have applied for CP status, of which 34 have been granted.
Next Inquiry Drop-in Sessions
The Inquiry's next drop-in will be on Monday 2 March.
Members of the Inquiry team will be at Bay 20, 71 St Marks Road, London, W10 6JG, from 16:00-18:00, so if you're interested in talking to the team and learning about the Inquiry's process then please come along. There will be hard copies of the Phase 1 report available. More venue details can be found here.
There will be a further drop-in later on 16th March, 16.00-18.30 at the Notting Hill Methodist Church, where members of the Inquiry team looking into the aftermath of the fire will be present.
You can find details of all upcoming drop-ins on the Inquiry website in the ‘Drop-in’ tab.
If you are unable to attend, then please make contact using the details below. We can then arrange for individuals or small groups to speak with a member of the team at either a separate meeting or by phone.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 020 7842 3583.