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  1. ITV Report

Met investigating series of Grenfell Tower fire offences in its 'unprecedented' inquiry

The Metropolitan Police are investigating a series of offences relating to the Grenfell Tower fire, the public inquiry into the disaster has been told.

They include misconduct in public office, breaches of fire safety regulations, manslaughter and corporate manslaughter.

The deadly fire in west London claimed the lives of 71 people last June.

Jeremy Johnson, representing the force, said that outside of major counter-terror operations, the police inquiry into the tragedy, was "unprecedented".

It comes as the judge-led probe into the disaster holds two days of procedural hearings in London.

They will focus on case management matters such as timeframes, witnesses and the disclosure of evidence.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick is leading the public inquiry process. Credit: PA

Hearing the voices of all Grenfell Tower survivors and bereaved families could help save lives in the future, the inquiry's lead counsel said.

Richard Millett said evidence from those who escaped the blaze or lost loved ones could help ensure "something like this never happens again".

He added that it was crucial to ensure "something like this never happens again".

A petition has been launched by victims' families and survivors urging Theresa May to take urgent action to restore their faith in the inquiry.

It calls for the appointment of individuals from a diverse background to sit alongside retired judge, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who is leading the process.

To date, it has attracted more than 16,000 signatures.

Survivors of the fire and bereaved families have been calling for 'justice'. Credit: PA

Michael Mansfield QC, representing 24 different families affected by the fire, also urged Sir Martin to ask the prime minister to install a panel to sit alongside him.

He pointed to Mrs May's words to Parliament on June 22, when she said the Grenfell Tower residents would be involved "in every step" of the inquiry.

The renowned lawyer told Sir Martin: "What happened thereafter, to some extent, has not restored the confidence."

Sir Martin replied: "Do you think it will be of value if the inquiry were to put together a consultative panel?"

Such a group would be able to advise, but not make decisions in the inquiry, he added.

"It would help, but I'm afraid it wouldn't quite solve it," Mr Mansfield said.

Theresa May spoke about the fire in the House of Commons on June 22. Credit: PA

A total of 270,000 documents is expected to be submitted to the inquiry to assist its work.

Core participant status has now been granted to 424 individuals and groups, allowing them access to evidence and the right to suggest lines of questioning, it was heard.

Of those granted core participant status, 60 are from families of the victims, 193 were former residents of Grenfell Tower, four were leaseholders, 124 from the nearby blocks and one survivor who was not a resident, as well as other organisations such as Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Firefighters who attended the blaze will also be among witnesses to give evidence. Credit: PA

Evidence will come from three types of witnesses, those affected by the fire, firefighters and expert witnesses.

Sir Martin hopes to deliver an interim report into the fire's causes and the emergency response by next autumn.

The second day of hearings are due to start on Tuesday.