Expert panel appointed to advise on immediate safety action following Grenfell fire

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a new independent expert advisory panel to advise on any immediate measures that can be put in place to make buildings safe following the Grenfell Tower fire.

A separate independent Public Inquiry will investigate what happened and who was responsible for the disaster. This expert panel will look at any immediate action that is required so the public can be confident everything possible is being done to make all public and private buildings safe as quickly as possible.

The Panel will be made up of a range of building and fire safety experts, and will be chaired by Sir Ken Knight, former London Fire Commissioner and former Government Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser.

Other core members of the panel will be Dr Peter Bonfield, Chief Executive of the Building Research Establishment, Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council and Amanda Clack, President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Partner at EY. The panel have a wealth of experience in fire and building safety, including testing processes. They will also draw in wider technical expertise as necessary to inform their advice to the Communities Secretary. It is intended that a first meeting of the Panel will take place this week.

Sajid Javid said:

“It’s absolutely right that there will be an independent public inquiry to get to the truth about what happened and who was responsible for the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

“However, I want to know if there are measures we can put in place now to keep people safe and I want them done immediately. I want the public to be confident everything possible is being done.

“That is why I am announcing a new expert advisory panel to advise government on any immediate action that is required to ensure all buildings are safe.”

Sir Ken Knight said:

“I thank the Secretary of State for appointing me to chair this panel and welcome the opportunity to work with other experts to ensure that our buildings are safe and that we take whatever steps are necessary to ensure such a dreadful incident never happens again.”

Dr Peter Bonfield said:

“It is important that the best expertise from across our industry, the research communities, the professions and the public sector is drawn out to support the government and society at this critical time of need. I look forward to working with Sir Ken and drawing in expertise which will help address the challenges faced. I know that the will to positively contribute from professional bodies and others is strong and we will deploy this to support our work.”