Zita Holbourne, the national chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, which is part of the BMELawyers4Grenfell coalition, said the terms were better than expected, but added: “It’s not included the wider issues around social housing, socioeconomic issues, the issues of race, religion and equality in relation to adequate housing, the impact of austerity and cost-cutting leading to the neglect of residents.”

Peter Herbert, the chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, said the coalition would be meeting survivors on Thursday to get their responses to the terms of reference, warning that they might challenge them in court if their demands were not met.

He said the inquiry needed to tackle “the background causes, the wholly inadequate public provision of social housing, which is the context in which this avoidable tragedy occurred”. Holbourne and Herbert also called for advisers to the panel to be diverse with respect to ethnicity and expertise.

Jocelyn Cockburn, the joint head of civil liberties at the law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, which is representing some residents, said: “The chair should not be ruling out issues, at this early stage, which may prove to be relevant to the causes of the disaster.”

Labour said it would press for an amendment to the terms or reference, accusing May of trying to “hoodwink the public” by suggesting people would still get answers to key questions about social housing policy.


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