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UK News Grenfell Tower inquiry member resigns over links to cladding firm

03:40  26 january  2020
03:40  26 january  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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A member of the Grenfell Tower inquiry panel has resigned over links to the firm that supplied the building's cladding . Benita Mehra had connections to Arconic's charitable arm, the Arconic Foundation. Tendering her resignation to the prime minister, the engineer said she recognised and respected the

A newly-appointed member of the Grenfell Tower inquiry panel has resigned after she was linked to a charitable arm of the firm which supplied the tower Benita Mehra tendered her resignation to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying she recognised and respected the 'depth of feeling' among

a person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Benita Mehra was appointed to the panel just before Christmas © Getty Benita Mehra was appointed to the panel just before Christmas

A member of the Grenfell Tower inquiry panel has resigned over links to the firm that supplied the building's cladding.

Benita Mehra had connections to Arconic's charitable arm, the Arconic Foundation.

Tendering her resignation to the prime minister, the engineer said she recognised and respected the "concern" and "depth of feeling" among survivors and the bereaved about her appointment.

Survivors' group Grenfell United said Ms Mehra had done the "dignified thing by resigning" and that her departure "helps lift growing anxiety ahead of phase two".

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A key member of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry has resigned after fury among survivors and the bereaved after her links to the company that made The inquiry has already concluded the Arconic panels were the main cause of the spread of fire which claimed 72 lives and lawyers for the firm are

Boris Johnson's pick to help lead Grenfell inquiry linked to cladding firm . Grenfell contractor being sued over blocks with similar cladding . Grenfell cladding firm has spent £30m defending its role in disaster. Arconic’s outlay on lawyers dwarfs amount spent on panels found to be main cause of fire

But it added that the government "should never have put families in this situation" and accused it of failing to "carry out basic checks".

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Ms Mehra's resignation was "welcome news" and her appointment should "never have been made in the first place".

The fire in June 2017 claimed 72 lives - the first phase of the inquiry finding that the cladding was the "principal" reason for the flames' rapid spread.

Ms Mehra had been due to replace an academic, Professor Nabeel Hamdi, on the panel for the second phase of the inquiry, due to begin on Monday.

a sign in front of a building: Grenfell Tower caught fire in June 2017 © PA Grenfell Tower caught fire in June 2017

Since her appointment was announced shortly before Christmas, it has emerged she was an immediate past president of the Women's Engineering Society (WES).

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The Grenfell Tower Inquiry is a British public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people and destroyed Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.

Grenfell Tower fire inquiry panel member Benita Mehra resigns after concern from families about conflict of interest. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

According to the society's website, it received funding from the Arconic Foundation for an apprentice conference last year.

Ms Mehra said her role at the WES was unpaid and the grant from Arconic was ringfenced to fund the mentoring scheme.

She wrote to Boris Johnson: "For these reasons, I did not link any aspect of my former role as president of the WES to my panel member role for the Grenfell Tower inquiry. In hindsight, this was a regrettable oversight on my part.

"I am confident that had I continued in my role at the inquiry I would have approached my work with complete independence and impartiality at all times. However, I recognise and respect the depth of feeling among some core participants about my appointment."

a close up of a green building: The fire in June 2017 claimed 72 lives © Sky News Screen Grab The fire in June 2017 claimed 72 lives

The report following the first phase of the inquiry, published in October, said the cladding supplied by Arconic did not comply with building regulations.

Arconic said a "confluence of unfortunate circumstances" rather than the "mere presence" of the panels had caused the spread of the fire.

Boris Johnson said: "I can confirm that Benita Mehra wrote to me yesterday to offer her resignation from the Grenfell Tower inquiry panel and I have accepted.

"I would like to thank Benita for her commitment and I am very grateful for her sensitivity to the work of the inquiry."

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Survivors of London's Grenfell fire denounce 'sabotage' of public inquiryLONDON (Reuters) - Bereaved families and survivors of London's 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people, on Monday accused those responsible for wrapping the building in combustible materials of trying to sabotage a public inquiry into the disaster.

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