The Public Inquiry into the tragic events at Grenfell Tower last June began somewhat inauspiciously. Criticisms were made almost immediately about the Chair, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, given his Commercial Court background, and his refusal to allow a survivor of the fire to be part of a team charged with assessing evidence presented to the Inquiry.
Inevitable tensions, perhaps, when the need to follow due legal process butts up against a popular demand for quick answers.
The recent publication of the Inquiry's Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) illustrates one of the ways that modern Inquiry teams have developed for navigating these often choppy waters. Clear and concise, it maps out how the police investigation and the Inquiry can proceed in harmony, and how in particular each 'side' can assist the other.
Of course, choreography like this works best when it is directed to individuals rather than organisations. Paragraph 4 of the MoU therefore puts Caroline Featherstone, the Solicitor to the Inquiry, and Sarah Winfield, from the MPS's Directorate of Legal Services, front and centre in directing communication about the provision, and disclosure, of all the relevant material.
A relatively early addition to the library of key documents, the MoU nevertheless represents a crucial component of the Inquiry machine.
Memorandum of understanding with the police 28 September 2017 A memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Metropolitan Police Service has been published on the Inquiry's website. The MoU formalises the arrangement for how the Inquiry will work with the police. It has been added to the key documents section and is also linked below.