Grenfell Tower fire report ‘gives victims the truth’, says PM

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Media captionWhat do survivors and bereaved families want from the inquiry?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says a report into the Grenfell Tower fire means the world “is finally hearing the truth about what happened”.

A 1,000-page document follows the first phase of an inquiry looking into the fire in west London on 14 June 2017, when 72 people were killed.

Fewer people would have died if the tower block had been evacuated sooner, the inquiry chairman concluded.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s full report will be published on Wednesday morning.

Parts of it were published early by the media following a leak to the Daily Telegraph.

Grenfell United, the group representing survivors and bereaved families, said it was “unacceptable” that some of its members were “drip fed” the findings through the media before having the chance to read the full report themselves.

The report condemned the London Fire Brigade (LFB) for “serious shortcomings” and systemic failures in its response to the fire.

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White doves were released at a memorial service earlier this year to mark two years since the tragedy

Mr Johnson said “no report, no words, no apology will ever make good the loss suffered and trauma experienced”, but that he hoped the findings would bring “some measure of comfort” to survivors and bereaved families.

“They asked for the truth. We promised them the truth. We owe them the truth. And, today, the whole country, the whole world, is finally hearing the truth about what happened,” he added.

Issues highlighted in the report included:

  • A lack of training in how to “recognise the need for an evacuation or how to organise one”
  • Incident commanders “of relatively junior rank” being unable to change strategy
  • Control room officers lacking training on when to advise callers to evacuate
  • An assumption that crews would reach callers, resulting in “assurances which were not well founded”
  • Communication between the control room and those on the ground being “improvised, uncertain and prone to error”
  • A lack of an organised way to share information within the control room, meaning officers had “no overall picture of the speed or pattern of fire spread”

The government was committed to publishing and acting on the facts of the fire, “no matter how difficult they may be”, Mr Johnson said.

The prime minister is set to lead a debate on the report in Parliament on Wednesday.

The second phase of the inquiry will focus on wider circumstances of the fire, including the design of the building.

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