Grenfell survivors ask France to inquire into cladding firm

Listen to article

The bereaved and survivors of the Grenfell Tower today delivered a stark message to the French government via a huge billboard outside the French embassy in London

The digital hoarding features France’s famous tricolour flag, the white vertical band now replaced with a chilling image of the burned-out tower and the words “France Help us Expose the Truth’. The screen then flips to a longer call to action, ending with #DemandArconicAttendTheEnquiry. The billboard displayed versions of the images in both French and English outside the embassy.

Grenfell United, the pressure group made up of the families of victims and survivors of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, are demanding the French government intervene to waive an arcane French law key executives from the maker of the building’s combustible cladding – Arconic - are hiding behind to avoid cross-examination at the public inquiry in London.

Karim Mussilhy, who lost his uncle in the fire and is Vice Chair of Grenfell United said, “We know this is a shocking image, and for families it is hard to see, but we felt we had to show the damage these materials did. We need to remind Arconic, the French government and the witnesses what this is about. We hope this message will hit home and we hope to get a response from the French government before Christmas.”

The French government responded with the beneath statement:

"We have made it clear to Arconic that we do not share their point of view with its refusal to comply with the summons and its wish to avail itself of the blocking statute. We have asked Arconic to shoulder its responsibility in this matter. We have informed the inquiry and the UK Foreign Office of our position. The purpose of the Blocking Statute isn't to obstruct the emergence of the truth or to guarantee immunity for french nationals. This is not the way to evade responsibility."