Public inquiry into Grenfell Tower fire formally opened

Police believe at least 80 people died in the blaze three months ago

Public inquiry into Grenfell Tower fire formally opened

Grenfell Tower in London | Image: Ik Aldama/DPA/PA Images

Updated 11.50am

The chair of the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has said there is a debt owed to those who died to uncover the truth of the tragedy.

Retired judge Martin Moore-Bick opened the inquiry with a 45-minute opening statement on Wednesday.

At the beginning of proceedings, Mr Moore-Bick led a minute's silence in remembrance of the at least 80 victims of the 14 June disaster.

He said: "We are all searching for the truth. We owe it to those who died to work together to achieve that goal."

In his statement, he revealed that the inquiry will be conducted in two parts.

He hopes to begin taking evidence from witnesses by the end of this year

Mr Moore-Bick will aim to produce a first report by Easter 2018, and said the process of gathering evidence has already begun

Authorities believe around 80 people died in the fire in west London in June, though many of the victims have yet to be positively identified.

Mr Moore-Bick has previously faced criticism at a public consultation meeting from some in the community who feel he knows little about public housing or the area.

When he set out his terms of reference he suggested that he would want to bring in "a diverse group of people" with experience, but so far no appointments have been announced.