Grenfell: Parliament forced to consider demand for Theresa May inquiry action after Stormzy pushes petition past 100,000 signatures

'Beautiful, legendary people. Job done,' rapper tweets

Judith Vonberg
Saturday 24 February 2018 11:03
BRIT Awards 2018: Stormzy calls out Theresa May over Grenfell Tower

A petition calling on Theresa May to take action to build trust in the Grenfell Tower inquiry has reached a landmark 100,000 signatures, meaning parliament must now consider debating the issue.

Tens of thousands of signatures have been added since Friday alone, when London rapper Stormzy tweeted his support and called for his followers to “sign, share, RT and spread the word”.

The post, retweeted almost 10,000 times, came just two days after the grime and hip hop star lashed out at Ms May over her handling of the Grenfell tragedy during his performance at the Brit Awards.

“Like yo Theresa May where’s the money for Grenfell?” he spat, adding: “What you thought we just forgot about Grenfell?”

Downing Street rebuffed the accusations, insisting Ms May was “absolutely committed” to supporting the people affected by the devastating fire, which claimed 71 lives in north Kensington last June.

As the petition surged past 100,000 signatures, Stormzy tweeted, “Beautiful, legendary people. Job done.”

“We’ve done it,” wrote Labour MP for Kensington Emma Dent Coad, thanking Stormzy and Grenfell activists for their work and pledging to ensure the debate reaches parliament.

“We will get justice for Grenfell. No justice, no peace,” she wrote.

The petition was launched in November by Adel Chaoui, who lost several family members in the fire and is now a pivotal figure in Grenfell United, a group of survivors and bereaved people calling for justice.

It calls for Ms May to increase the diversity of the inquiry panel by appointing additional members with decision-making power to sit alongside Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

“Panel members must be appointed with relevant background, expertise, experience, & a real understanding of the issues facing those affected," the petition reads.

It also calls for legal representatives of bereaved families to have access to all evidence and be allowed to question witnesses at the hearings.

The goal is to “secure trust in an establishment we feel has been distant and unresponsive, & to avoid a collapse of confidence in the Inquiry's ability to discover the truth.”

In a response to the petition after it reached 10,000 signatures, the Government said the tower fire was “a truly unimaginable tragedy that should never have happened” but rejected the request for additional panel members.

“This week the public have shown they’ve not forgotten about Grenfell,” said Grenfell United in a statement published late on Friday.

“Just as they supported us in the immediate aftermath of the fire, when local and national government response was lacking, they’ve backed us again – and demanded the voices of the survivors and bereaved are heard.”

The petition milestone comes just over a week after another group of Grenfell activists brought the tragedy back into the spotlight.

Recreating a scene from Golden-Globe wininng film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, members of Justice4Grenfell parked three billboards opposite the charred remains of the tower, demanding an answer to the question, “71 dead”, “And still no arrests?”

MPs are not obliged to debate petitions that collect 100,000 signatures, but, according to the official website, “petitions which reach 100,000 signatures are almost always debated”.

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