Rapper Stormzy continues battle with Theresa May over Grenfell Tower fire


Rapper Stormzy has continued his battle with the Prime Minister over the Grenfell Tower fire by urging support for a bid to overhaul an inquiry into the tragedy.

The grime and hip hop star called on his more than one million Twitter followers to sign a petition demanding Theresa May use her powers to appoint additional panel members to the independent public inquiry.

As an official parliamentary petition, if the campaign gains 100,000 signatures by the end of May this year, it will have to be considered for debate by MPs.

It was started by Adel Chaoui, who lost four relatives in the blaze and wants a more diverse make-up to the inquiry.

Alongside a link to the online petition, Stormzy (real name Michael Omari) wrote on Twitter: “This needs 100,000 signatures if you could please sign, share, RT and spread the word on it.”

He later urged people to “pleaseeeee don’t be paigon”, using a slang term for someone who does nothing and a word he has previously used to describe Mrs May.

The petition, which was previously delivered to Downing Street, calls for the Prime Minister to appoint additional panel members with decision-making power to sit alongside retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who is the chair of the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

It states such a move is “fundamental” to “avoid a collapse of confidence in the inquiry’s ability to discover the truth” of the tragedy.

The panel members “must be appointed with relevant background, expertise, experience and a real understanding of the issues facing those affected”, it adds.

The petition also calls for legal representatives of victims’ families to “see all evidence from the start” of the inquiry and be “allowed to question witnesses at the hearings”.

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Stormzy attacks PM over Grenfell

Earlier this week, Stormzy used his appearance at the BRIT Awards to question the Mrs May’s response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, which took the lives of 71 people.

In a politically-charged performance, Stormzy rapped: “Yo Theresa May, where’s the money for Grenfell?

“What, you thought we just forgot about Grenfell? You criminals, and you’ve got the cheek to call us savages, you should do some jail time, you should pay some damages, you should burn your house down and see if you can manage this.”

In response, Downing Street insisted the Prime Minister is “absolutely committed” to supporting those affected by the devastating tower block blaze in north Kensington, west London, last June.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the Grenfell public inquiry arrives at the High Court in London Rapper Stormzy continues battle with Theresa May over Grenfell Tower fire Rapper Stormzy continues battle with Theresa May over Grenfell Tower fire a24ac7e88ab5746a63a6f535ee7c4aceeeea51af822159b82bef59836ce4ff21 4100148
Sir Martin Moore-Bick is chairman of the Grenfell public inquiry

The appointment of Sir Martin to chair the public inquiry into the disaster proved controversial after local residents questioned his ability to relate to survivors.

He has appointed seven expert witnesses and three assessors to help with his work.

Late last year, Mrs May was criticised after she rejected the request from Grenfell survivors – after the petition now being promoted by Stormzy was delivered to Downing Street – to appoint additional panel members.

Under the Inquiries Act 2005, only the Prime Minister has the power to change an inquiry’s format.

In a formal response to the petition, triggered by its reaching 10,000 signatures, the Government said: “Having regard to the terms of reference and the assistance to be provided by the assessors, and the expert witnesses, it is the Prime Minister’s view that the inquiry panel has the necessary expertise to undertake the Inquiry as it is currently constituted.”

Grenfell families criticised the timing of Mrs May’s announcement of her decision on the last working day before Christmas.

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