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May bows to public pressure over Grenfell

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May bows to public pressure over Grenfell

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has bowed to public pressure and appointed additional experts to help an inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

Survivors groups feared the inquiry risked being a whitewash unless May appointed a diverse panel that would better represent the local community to oversee the investigation.

Initially, the panel had only one member, inquiry chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

The new panel members -- who have not yet been appointed -- will join Moore-Bick for phase two of his investigation, which is due to start hearing formal evidence later this month.

71 people died as a result of the fire last June.

A huge outcry

156,000 people signed a petition calling for panel members to be added. The campaign group Grenfell United had also planned a protest for May 14.

Why the U-turn?

It comes after May spoke with a group of people affected by the fire at Downing Street last Thursday evening.

The House of Commons is due to debate the fire on Monday.

What Theresa May said

"To best serve the increasing scale and complexity of the inquiry, I have decided to appoint an additional two panel members," May said in a written statement. "The fire in Grenfell Tower was an unimaginable tragedy and I am determined that justice is done for the victims, survivors, bereaved and the wider community."

What others are saying

"We should not have had to campaign for it," - Adel Chaoui lost four relatives in the London blaze. "This is a huge step for all of us who are desperate to make sure the inquiry delivers truth and justice for the loved ones we lost in the fire and those that survived."