Kensington and Chelsea Council threatened a resident of Grenfell Tower with criminal action after he blogged about his issues over fireplace protection. The Grenfell Action Group (GAG) raised their fears time and again both with the council and with the agency that managed the doomed 24-story tower block, writing an eerily prophetic put-up closing year caution that simplest a “catastrophic event” would reveal the “ineptitude and incompetence” in their landlord, the KCTMO. Instead of taking their issues seriously, the Conservative-run council replied with its caution letter from a solicitor, Vimal Sama, dated 25 July 2013. It addressed Francis O’Connor, accusing him of “defamatory behavior” and “harassment.”

The letter reads: “I am suggested through the Director of Housing that you are the author of the Grenfell Action Group blog and maintainer of the internet site. I am informed thatyou previously posted blogs that have been critical of the whole lot that takes vicinity in Lancaster West on the subject of the Kensington Academy Leisure Centre and funding on the property.”

Written at the commands of the borough solicitor, the letter goes on: “I would additionally ask which you take away out of your weblog unfounded accusations against named individuals which can be your non-public opinion and probably be considered defamatory and additionally probably to be perceived as harassment via the people concerned. It continues: “You’ve made direct accusations about unfounded criminal actions in your current postings. You will undoubtedly appreciate that if you have proof of criminal pastime, this should be stated and pursued through the police.”


“I might be grateful if you may touch Vimal Sama straight away to affirm that you have removed the offending blog and that you’ll chorus from making unsubstantiated accusations of criminal behavior and private feedback approximately a character’s performance or moves even as running on or for the Estate Management Board.”

It concluded: “I stay up for receiving your co-operation and wait for receipt of your affirmation that you may eliminate your blog on or before 29 July 2013.” The Grenfell group warned the council and the KCTMO, which manages the borough’s housing inventory, that building a college and gymnasium next to the estate might restrict the right of entry to emergency offerings and fire engines. The group overlooked the danger from Kensington and Chelsea, and no criminal action was taken.

prison movement

Almost four years later, the government ought to discover itself in the dock if any of the diverse bodies are determined to have breached fitness and protection laws over the Seventies-built tower block as police introduced a crook inquiry below way. While the motive of the fire may also take time to establish, there will be questions to reply to at the extent of imperative in addition to local government after it emerged former Conservative housing minister Gavin Barwell was behind schedule for a fire protection assessment following a deadly blaze in Camberwell in 2009 which left six humans useless, along with three youngsters. Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, a barrister via career, labeled the fire “company manslaughter” and known for arrests to be made, even though he did not name any people.

It has additionally been stated that former housing minister Brandon Lewis “sat on” information and resisted making sprinklers a felony requirement because it “discourages constructing”. John Halford, a public regulation professional for Bindmans solicitors, who’ve acted for the Hillsborough families, among different excessive-profile cases against public bodies, stated there were various approaches wherein crook court cases can be delivered towards public authorities if they have been discovered guilty within the catastrophe.

He stated the Crown Prosecution Service could use health and safety law to prosecute public bodies, as in the case of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent man shot dead by anti-terrorist officers at a London tube station. “There may be some pressure on the fitness and protection executive over the destiny taking of criminal court cases against public authorities if it seems that the constructing become now not as it ought to be legal.

“If it seems that there’s kingdom duty, humans could also seek compensation under the Human Rights Act – even though that is generally not the first thing on human beings’ minds in these cases.” Amid a developing clamor for solutions, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a complete public inquiry into the disaster as the death toll persevered to climb to 30. However, it is anticipated to be way higher as soon as the grim recovery process concludes.

Some have raised issues that a Government-led public inquiry will take area rather than inquests, which can be independent and jury-led, directed using the Coroner. On behalf of the Government, Greg Hands, the new minister for London, stated: “This is an ongoing incident, and all parts of the Government might be operating collectively together with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Mayor’s office.” Under-stress council chief Mr. Paget-Brown mentioned he would no longer comment on the opportunity of corporate manslaughter or different crook charges on Newsnight last night.

“I assume that’s a be counted for the inquiry; I’m no longer going to comment on any of those allegations. I think that would be the incorrect component,” he advised the program. “There are quite a few political comments on this; I recognize it and appreciate it, but I think my task is to ensure that our borough seems after people whose lives had been devastated. That’s what I’m focusing my energies on.” The Metropolitan Police introduced a crook inquiry shortly after news broke about the total public question.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy stated: “As the police, we investigate criminal offenses. I am now not sitting here and announcing crook offenses that have been committed; it truly is why you do an investigation. “We have heard some of the theories about the purpose of the fire at Grenfell Tower. Those might be well investigated as part of the formal investigation that has already started. “This will want to be numerous work among us and different investigating businesses to set up what has befallen and why, and that will take a big time.”