Retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick to lead Grenfell Tower public inquiry

A retired judge will lead the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who once sat in the Court of Appeal – the second most senior court in England and Wales – will head the investigation into the fire which killed around 80 people.

Theresa May said “no stone will be left unturned” by the public inquiry into the tragedy and has already indicated that residents from the block in west London will be given a say over the direction of the investigation.

It comes as police raised the death toll from the inferno to around 80, up from 79, with the majority of victims believed to only have come from 23 flats in the 24-storey building.

Mrs May told MPs she expects Sir Martin will “want to produce an interim report as early as possible” to address the immediate lessons that need to be learned from the disaster.

While Sir Martin said he understands “the desire of local people for justice” adding that this will be “served by a vigorous inquiry that gets to the truth as quickly as possible”.

Mrs May said: “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.”

Scotland Yard has also warned that the final roll call of those who perished may take months to establish.

Sir Martin will now lead the public task-force investigating the devastating blaze, one of the worst tragedies in modern-day Britain.

As a lawyer, Sir Martin specialised in commercial law before spending more than 20 years as a judge of the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal.

Survivors and those affected by the fire will be given state funding for legal representation at his inquiry.

The Prime Minister had said that a full inquiry was needed in order to ensure the events at the block were “properly investigated”.

Meanwhile the National Housing Federation has called on the Government to stop the testing and instead focus on making people safe.

Chief executive David Orr said: “These tests were the right thing to do, but the results are now conclusive: Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding simply does not pass these tests and is deemed unsafe.

“Across the country, valuable resources – from specialist equipment to expert time – are being poured into a testing process of which the results are already known.”

Mr Orr spoke of the testing process revealing a “systematic failure” around the development, manufacture and regulation of cladding.

A six-month-old baby is among the latest victims to be identified as having died at Grenfell.

She was found dead in her mother’s arms in the building’s smoke-filled stairwell.

And as the criminal investigation continues, 60 organisations have been identified as played a part in the tower’s refurbishment – suspected of having helped the blaze spread.

Mrs May confirmed on Wednesday that 120 tower blocks across 37 local authority areas had flammable cladding on their exterior.

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