Branch Secretary :

Unite: Grenfell advisor must withdraw

Conflicted Grenfell adviser must withdraw from inquiry demands Unite


Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, which is supporting 65 core participants at the Grenfell Inquiry has written to Benita Mehra, who was appointed as an expert adviser to the inquiry by the prime minister shortly before Christmas, urging her to “recuse” herself from the hearing.


It has been revealed that while president of the Women’s Engineering Society from 2015 to 2018, Ms Mehra accepted a grant of £71,000 from the Arconic Foundation, the charitable arm of Arconic. Arconic supplied the flammable ACM cladding which was fixed to the exterior of Grenfell Tower.


Cladding concern


Aronic will come under considerable scrutiny during phase two of the inquiry which is due to begin next Monday (27 January).


If Ms Mehra does not voluntarily withdraw from the inquiry, then Unite will directly challenge her participation when the inquiry resumes and will also consider other avenues to challenge her involvement.


Potential boycott


n Unite’s letter to Ms Mehra, which was sent by solicitors Howe and Company, a number of the core participants, who are principally bereaved family members of loved ones who died or are survivors of the fire, gave their personal reasons why they believe Ms Mehra is unfit to act as an advisor.


They include: “I strongly disagree with her sitting on the panel and I personally, and many survivors and bereaved families, believe the inquiry should not start while she is appointed.”

“The appointment of Ms Mehra to the panel is not right. She has a clear conflict of interest. If Ms Mehra remains, the inquiry would no longer be legitimate. I would have no confidence in the inquiry or its process. If she does not stand down or is not removed I will consider boycotting the inquiry.”

 “The appointment makes me feel as though we are being treated as doughnuts.”


Clear conflict


Unite assistant general secretary for legal services Howard Beckett, said: “Benita Mehra has a clear conflict of interest and she should play no role in the inquiry.

 “Benita Mehra’s claim that there is no conflict of interest is simply not plausible.

 “If she will not voluntarily stand down, then Unite, on behalf of the people we are representing who survived the fire or who lost loved ones in the tragedy, will examine all measures to ensure that Benita Mehra is forced to withdraw,

 “If Benita Mehra is allowed to continue as an adviser any findings or recommendations made by the inquiry will forever be tainted.”


January 25th 2020


Before Posting

We welcome debate and discussion on our website, but we also want an open, respectful, inclusive space in which forms of abuse or personal attack will not be tolerated. Comments will be moderated and will be removed if they are found to be unduly offensive. You should also be very careful in posting information about your employer. Employers do visit the website and if you think a comment could get you into trouble for releasing confidential or sensitive information, or for bringing the employer into disrepute, please do not post it. It remains your individual responsibility to ensure that what you post is appropriate. Please therefore just give a moment's thought to what you are saying. The types of comments that are likely to be moderated are:

  • Personal abuse or attacks on an individual.
  • Information which breaches another person's right to confidentiality.
  • The use of offensive language, including swear words, or language which is racist, sexist, or otherwise breaches equalities standards.
  • Anything that might place the Branch or the wider union in legal jeopardy.
  • Adverts or information which is posted for commercial gain.

* Name
* Email (will not be published)
* field is required