Professor Scraton emphasises need for Grenfell inquiry to be ‘independent’

Professor Phil Scraton, the academic at Queen’s University Belfast who sat on the Hillsborough inquiry, has emphasised the need for the Grenfell Tower inquiry to be independent.

Speaking during an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, he said the ongoing inquiry needed to “have the full confidence of all of the survivors and all of the bereaved”.

However, the professor emeritus of law refused to join critics of the inquiry judge, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who he said he did not know.

Professor Scraton said: “I don’t think that we can have any faith in an inquiry that doesn’t carry with it the weight of those who have borne the loss. Grenfell has brought that home very, very clearly.

“I’m not going to criticise the judge himself, I don’t know him, but what I do know is that the person who heads it up – and the people who are around that person and the support that they get from government – has to be fully independent. The most important thing about the Hillsborough Independent Panel was the word ‘independent’. Although we were serviced by government departments, the panel was in the driving seat.”

He also said the Hillsborough Independent Panel was a “brilliant model” with a bishop as independent chair as well as expert legal, medical, police and media insight around the table.