Unite welcomes police ‘corporate manslaughter’ probe into Grenfell fire

The police’s investigation into possible corporate manslaughter charges relating to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, when an estimated 80 people died in the fire, was welcomed by Unite, the country’s largest union, today (Friday 28 July).
Unite, which is representing about 30 families affected by the tragedy, said that ‘people have to be accountable for their decisions’ in the run-up and aftermath of June’s fire. 

The police probe relating to corporate manslaughter centres on the actions of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO).

Unite assistant general secretary for legal services, Howard Beckett, said: “Clearly people have to be held accountable if their decisions have caused deaths and, more so, if those decisions were made with the knowledge of the very real risks to lives.

“We are representing close to 30 families now and we will represent our members in all legal forums, including an inquiry, inquest or to advise them in regard to whether anyone has criminal responsibility for this.

“We welcome the continued police investigation that they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect that both organisations may have committed an offence under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.”

Earlier this month, Unite announced that it was providing legal representation for a number of the families involved in the Grenfell Tower tragedy and would be applying for core participant status in the public inquiry into the fire.

The union, which has dozens of members who lived in the tower, some of whom lost their lives, is making the application to ensure that victims’ families and survivors have the expertise and resources to get answers and have their voices heard.

The union has also donated £100,000 to the Red Cross London Fire Relief appeal set up to assist the people affected by the tragedy.