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Police interview three people under caution over Grenfell

Grenfell pa (27)

Three people have been interviewed under caution during the Metropolitan Police’s inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, with more expected to follow over the next few months.

Police confirmed offences including gross negligence manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and breaches of the Health and Safety Act are being investigated.

At this stage no arrests have been made apart from allegations of fraud, the police said.

It had previously been thought interviews would not take place until autumn due to the scale of the inquiry – in December it was revealed more than 31M documents are being used in the criminal investigation.

Meanwhile the Commons communities and local government committee said the government must urgently address “conflicts of interest” in the construction industry such as builders choosing their own inspection services.

After chair of the building regulations review Dame Judith Hackitt did not include a ban on combustible cladding in her final report, the government immediately proposed a ban for new high-rise buildings over 18m tall.

The committee warned that plans to ban combustible cladding on new high-rise buildings “do not go far enough” and should include all buildings, while it said sprinklers should be added to all tall residential buildings.

It said: “It cannot be right for dangerous cladding to be banned from new buildings, but for it to continue to be permitted on existing buildings. The Government should fully fund the replacement of any cladding on existing buildings which had been permitted, but is subsequently banned as a consequence of the consultation.”

MPs added that more robust sanctions should be put in place in the construction industry.

“It is not a binary choice between having an outcomes-based system with greater accountability, robust regulatory oversight and strengthened sanctions on the one hand, and prescription on the other hand. The two are not mutually exclusive,” the committee said.

The Local Authority Building Control (LABC) group, which was a member of several working groups set up to tackle issues raised in the Hackitt review, said conflicts of interest in the industry must be dealt with quickly.

LABC chief executive Paul Everall, said “LABC welcomes the conclusions of the select committee’s report, particularly in identifying the crucial need to end industry’s ability to choose its own regulator and the level of regulation. We have been arguing for many years that this leads to a race to the bottom that results in the least intervention at the least cost.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Whatever happened to that quaint old system of the designer being independent of the constructor and the former supervising the latter in terms of quality? Equally the constructor could challenge the designer. Just a thought.

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