Grenfell Tower and Fire Safety: Update - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 20th July 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Crossbench 2:30 pm, 20th July 2017

My Lords, perhaps I may follow up a question from my noble and learned friend Lord Hope. Will the interim panel have adequate powers within its terms of reference so that, if some of the questions that have been emerging in the press about, for example, electrical safety, power surges and so on arise, it will be able to request all local authorities to undertake electrical safety reviews in similar blocks? It would be an unimaginable tragedy for a fire of a similar nature to occur while the inquiry was going on. Although one does not wish in any way to pre-empt the finding of the inquiry, there is a need to defuse tension, rather than risk the possibility of the people who have suffered so terribly feeling that their concerns are being put off until the outcome of the inquiry. Therefore, I wonder whether it would be wise for a series of interim reports to be released as and when the overall inquiry felt that that was appropriate and helpful in the interests of safety in the future.