Grenfell Tower inquiry panel member resigns after she’s linked to cladding firm

A newly-appointed member of the Grenfell Tower inquiry panel has resigned after she was linked to a charitable arm of the firm which supplied the tower block's deadly cladding.

Benita Mehra tendered her resignation to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying she recognised and respected the "depth of feeling" among some about her appointment.

Family of the victims threatened to boycott the inquiry after the links were revealed.

Mr Johnson thanked Ms Mehra for her commitment and said he was "grateful for her sensitivity to the work of the Inquiry".

It was announced shortly before Christmas that the engineer would replace academic Professor Nabeel Hamdi on the panel for the second phase of the inquiry, which is due to begin this year.

It has since been disclosed that Ms Mehra is an immediate past president of the Women's Engineering Society (WES) which, according to the society's website, last year received funding from the Arconic Foundation for an apprentice conference.

Arconic supplied the cladding on the outside of the west London tower block, which went up in flames on June 14 2017, claiming 72 lives.

A report following the first phase of the inquiry concluded in October last year that the cladding did not comply with building regulations and was the "principal" reason for the fire's rapid and "profoundly shocking" spread.

Arconic said a "confluence of unfortunate circumstances" rather than the "mere presence" of the panels had caused the spread of the fire.

Grenfell Tower, in west London, went up in flames on June 14 2017 and claimed 72 lives after a devastating fire spread up the side of the building.

The tragedy resulted in calls for great focus on fire prevention in high-rise buildings.

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