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Final Grenfell report delayed for a third time

Grenfell Tower fire

Publication of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s final report has been pushed back again, the third major delay to the process.

The inquiry team had hoped to release its second and final report about the fatal fire before the seventh anniversary on June 14.

But it now expects to publish its findings about the disaster even later this summer.

It is the third time the inquiry team has delayed publication of the report. Initially due in late 2023, it was delayed until early 2024 last May, and further delayed until summer 2024 in November.

The team leading the probe said contacting individuals who are criticised in the report had been a much ‘larger and more complex’ process than anticipated.

In a statement, the report team said: “We have had to write to about 250 people and the process has been significantly larger and more complex than we had originally expected.

“Although it is now reaching its final stages, it means that we shall not be in a position to publish the report before the next anniversary of the fire, as we had originally hoped.”

The inquiry is carrying out the final stages of its Rule 13 process, which involves writing to individuals who might be criticised in the report and considering their responses.

The team added that “if possible” it would provide a new publication date for the report “when we have a better understanding of how much longer the Rule 13 process is likely to take.”

The Grenfell Tower fire broke out in the early hours of the morning on June 14, 2017 in the 24-storey block of flats in North Kensington, West London. The fire killed 72 people.

The inquiry was initiated two weeks after the disaster, on June 28, 2017, when retired judge Martin Moore-Bick was appointed to lead the team.

The inquiry’s phase one report was published in October 2019, focusing on events during the fire itself. The second study will examine the causes of the disaster.

Once the final report has been sent to the prime minister, the government is expected to publish the document publicly.