Corporate witnesses involved in refurbishing Grenfell Tower with flammable materials are trying to derail the public inquiry by threatening to stay silent unless they are guaranteed they will not be prosecuted, it has been claimed.
The inquiry into the disaster which killed 72 people heard that the "potential perpetrators of this inferno" are trying to "essentially dictate the terms in which they will provide their assistance".
Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick is considering a request to write to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC asking for an undertaking that would stop any evidence staff may give being used against them in any future criminal proceedings.
Representing victims, Michael Mansfield QC said on Monday that there is an "overwhelming and strong" consensus opposing the application.
Mr Mansfield said the timing of the application appears to be an "attempt to derail this inquiry", adding: "If it was serious this would have been done months ago."
But Sir Martin said that "might be going a bit far" as it would not cover giving false evidence to the inquiry.
Stephanie Barwise QC added:
Retired appeal court judge Sir Martin is hearing the application for firms including external wall subcontractor Harley Facades, main contractor Rydon, architects Studio E, and window and cladding fitters Osborne Berry.
The collective application sent to him said the pledge would "fulfil the inquiry's primary obligation ... in the most effective and least disruptive manner".