New Forest East


[Bernard Jenkin: ... I wish to talk about the response to the Grenfell Tower fire and to raise some issues relating to how a public inquiry could be established. ... Everyone wants to set up this inquiry as quickly as possible in response to public anger, which is very understandable, but so many public inquiries are set up in haste before their terms of reference are properly considered. The Leveson inquiry, for example, has been regretted because not enough thought was put into it. I do not belong to the tradition of democracy that believes that the elected Government are necessarily the fount of all wisdom, however much I admire the Prime Minister herself.]

Dr Julian Lewis: Is it my hon. Friend’s position that were a Select Committee to look into a terrible tragedy such as this, there might be a better chance of getting a non-partisan analysis that would lead to more information coming forward on the Floor of the House?

[Mr Jenkin: I am glad that my right hon. Friend has made that intervention, because I want to be absolutely clear. I fully support what the Prime Minister is doing in ​setting up a public inquiry; what I am suggesting is that a special Select Committee should be established to supervise the setting up of the inquiry, to monitor it and, essentially, to set some timelines. These inquiries take so long because lawyers can always think of new questions and new points to make. We need to put a sense of urgency into these inquiries so that they report on time and do not drag on and on. ...]