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May vows thorough London tower inquiry

Press Association logoPress Association 29/06/2017

The new chairman of the London tower inquiry says he understands the desire for a "vigorous" investigation that "gets to the truth as quickly as possible".

Retired Court of Appeal judge Martin Moore-Bick said the purpose of his inquiry was to "discover the truth" about what happened at Grenfell Tower block to "ensure that a tragedy of this kind never happens again".

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said "no stone will be left unturned" by the public inquiry into the fire as she confirmed the appointment.

May told MPs she expects Moore-Bick will "want to produce an interim report as early as possible" to address the immediate lessons that need to be learned from the disaster.

"I am determined that there will be justice for all the victims of this terrible tragedy and for their families who have suffered so terribly."

Moore-Bick, who specialised in commercial law in a legal career spanning nearly 50 years, will look into the blaze which killed at least 80 people in west London earlier this month.

His appointment was recommended by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, and May said Moore-Bick is "highly respected and hugely experienced".

In a written statement to parliament, May said Moore-Bick will consult survivors and victims' families about the scope of his inquiry.

"The immediate priority is to establish the facts of what happened at Grenfell Tower in order to take the necessary action to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

"But beyond that immediate focus it is also important that all the wider lessons from both this catastrophe, and the inspections of other buildings around the country that followed it, are identified and learnt.

"Before the inquiry starts Sir Martin will consult all those with an interest, including survivors and victims' families, about the terms of reference. Following that consultation he will make a recommendation to me.

"I will return to parliament with the final terms of reference once this process has taken place. Then the inquiry will begin its work.

"We must get to the truth about what happened. No stone will be left unturned by this inquiry, but I have also been clear that we cannot wait for ages to learn the immediate lessons and so I expect the chair will want to produce an interim report as early as possible."

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