“Racism & discrimination played a very real part in the response to this tragedy" - Grenfell Inquiry closing statement

Monday 27 June 2022

Module 4 closing statement on behalf of some bereaved, residents and survivors, including those represented by Alison Munroe QC and Thalia Maragh of Garden Court Chambers. 

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Alison Munroe QC of Garden Court Chambers delivered a powerful and moving oral closing submission to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on Monday 27 June. The submission was featured in the press, including Inside Housing, and The Big Issue.

Watch the full statement on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry YouTube Channel.

Alison Munroe QC said that the issue of racial discrimination remained “the elephant in the room” and that issues of race were “inextricably linked” with Grenfell:

"...people have tried to move around the elephant, under the elephant, squeeze past the elephant; but he very much is still there and is not going away. Racism and discrimination , we say, played a very real part in the response to this tragedy. The playing field was not level . It never has been." 

She said the panel “needed to look no further” for evidence of this than a ‘Grenfell Community Impact Assessment’ that was produced by Kensington & Chelsea Police on 18 June 2017 – four days after the fire. 

Ms Munroe read from the document, which said:

“Imminent national, international or local events taken alone or in combination are expected to lead to outbreaks of crime and/or disorder within hours."

“There is an expectation that the death toll from the fire could rise substantially. And with the cause unknown, any subsequent disclosure would have the impact of community tensions, especially when the majority of those affected are believed to be coming from a Muslim cultural background combined with the incident occurring during the holy month of Ramadan.”

“Members of the panel, this is Islamophobia. It’s racism. It is the elephant staring back at us in the room,” Ms Munroe said.

Read the full written closing statement here.

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