Kensington and Chelsea Council threatened a resident of Grenfell Tower with felony motion after he blogged about his worries over fire protection.
The Grenfell Action Group (GAG) raised their fears time and again each with the council and with the employer which managed the doomed 24-storey tower block, writing an eerily prophetic post last year caution that simplest a “catastrophic event” would divulge the “ineptitude and incompetence” of their landlord, the KCTMO.
Instead of taking their issues significantly, the Conservative-run council responded with its very own caution letter from a solicitor, Vimal Sama, dated 25 July 2013 and addressed to Francis O’Connor, accusing him of “defamatory behavior” and “harassment.”
Chris Down @PlingetheElder
Charming! From 2013, however, that is Kensington & Chelsea Council threatening prison action over Grenfell Residents weblog. #Grenfell
4:36 AM – 14 Jun 2017
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The letter reads: “I am suggested by way of the Director of Housing that you are the author of the Grenfell Action Group weblog and maintainer of the internet site. I am informed that you previously published blogs which have in widespread been critical of the entirety that takes location in Lancaster West on the subject of the Kensington Academy Leisure Centre and investment on the estate.”
It continues: “In your greater latest postings, you’ve got made direct accusations about unfounded criminal actions. You will absolute confidence recognize that if you have proof of criminal activity this ought to be mentioned and pursued via the police.”
Written on the commands of the borough solicitor, the letter is going on: “I might additionally ask which you cast off from your blog unfounded accusations against named people which might be your non-public opinion and possibly to be considered defamatory and additionally possibly to be perceived as harassment via the people worried.
“I could be thankful if you could contact Vimal Sama without delay to verify that you have eliminated the offending blog and that you may refrain from making unsubstantiated accusations of criminal behavior and private comments approximately a person’s overall performance or actions at the same time as working on or for the Estate Management Board.”
It concluded: “I look ahead to receiving your co-operation and anticipate receipt of your affirmation that you will dispose of your blog on or earlier than 29 July 2013.”
The missing humans from Grenfell Tower
The Grenfell group warned the council and the KCTMO, which manages the borough’s housing stock, that the building of a school and health club next to the estate might restrict get admission to the emergency offerings, inclusive of heart engines.
The organization neglected the risk from Kensington and Chelsea and no criminal movement changed into taking.
Almost 4 years on, the government may want to discover themselves in the dock if any of the numerous our bodies are observed to had been in breach of health and safety legal guidelines over the Seventies-built tower block as police introduced a criminal inquiry is under way.
Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, a barrister by means of the profession, categorized the fireplace “company manslaughter” and known as for arrests to be made, despite the fact that he did no longer name any people.
MP: Tower fire is ‘corporate manslaughter’ and arrests should follow
While the cause of the fire may also take a time to set up, there could be questions to reply at the extent of crucial in addition to nearby authorities after it emerged former Conservative housing minister Gavin Barwell behind schedule a fire safety assessment following a deadly blaze in Camberwell in 2009 which left six people useless, such as 3 children.
It has also been reported that former housing minister Brandon Lewis “sat on” data and resisted making sprinklers a criminal requirement because it might “discourage constructing”.
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John Halford, a public law specialist for Bindmans solicitors, who’ve acted for the Hillsborough families, among other high-profile cases against public bodies, stated there have been diverse ways in which criminal lawsuits will be added against the public government in the event that they had been determined culpable inside the disaster.
Theresa May publicizes full public inquiry into Grenfell Tower disaster
He stated the Crown Prosecution Service could use health and safety law to prosecute public bodies, as within the case of Jean Charles de Menezes, a harmless man who became shot lifeless through anti-terrorist officials at a London tube station.
“There can be a few pressure on the health and safety executive over the destiny taking of crook complaints towards public government if it seems that the building turned into now, not as it need to had been legal.
“If it turns out that there is the kingdom responsibility, people could also are looking for reimbursement underneath the Human Rights Act – despite the fact that that is usually not the primary element on human beings’ minds in those instances.”
Sadiq Khan confronted on stay TV by means of livid Grenfell Tower residents
Amid a developing clamor for solutions, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a complete public inquiry into the disaster because the demise toll continued to climb to 30, even though it is predicted to be far higher once the bleak recovery manner concludes.
Some have raised issues that a Government-led public inquiry will take location rather than inquests, which might be impartial and jury-led, directed by way of the Coroner.
On behalf of the Government, Greg Hands, the new minister for London, said: “This is an ongoing incident and all components of the Government will be operating together alongside the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Mayor’s Workplace.”
Under-stress council chief Mr. Paget-Brown appeared on Newsnight final night time to say he could now not comment on the possibility of corporate manslaughter or other criminal expenses.
“I suppose that’s a depend for the inquiry, I’m no longer going to comment on any of these allegations. I suppose that might be the wrong thing to do,” he advised this system.
“There’s a whole lot of political comment on this, I recognize it, I respect it, but I think my task in the intervening time is to make sure that our borough appears after humans whose lives were devastated. That’s what I’m focusing my energies on.”
The Metropolitan Police announced they’ve opened a criminal inquiry quickly after information broke of the full public inquiry.
Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy stated: “As the police, we investigate crook offenses. I am no longer sitting here and saying there are crook offenses which have been devoted, this is why you do a research.
“We have heard some of the theories about the reason of the fire at Grenfell Tower. All of those can be very well investigated as part of the formal investigation which has already begun.
“This will need to be lots of work to us and different investigating groups to set up what has occurred and why and that is going to take a good sized time period.”