Knowing that, in the terms that she has given the undertaking, it will not jeopardise the police’s investigation or prospects of a future criminal prosecution, the Attorney General, the Rt Hon Suella Braverman QC MP, has given an undertaking to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
The undertaking means that no oral evidence provided to the Inquiry by individuals during modules 1, 2 and 3 of phase 2 will be used against the individual in any criminal proceedings. Additionally, the evidence cannot be used for the purpose of deciding whether to bring such proceedings against that individual. However the undertaking does not prevent witness evidence from being used against corporations in any future prosecution.
In making the decision, the Attorney General took into consideration all representations received including those from victims and their representatives. She also consulted the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Health and Safety Executive and the Metropolitan Police Service.
The Attorney General has concluded that the undertaking is needed to enable the Inquiry to continue to hear vital evidence about the circumstances and causes of the fire. Without it she has concluded that some witnesses would be likely to decline to give evidence.
Commenting on her decision, the Attorney General said:
“In making this decision I have had the victims of the fire and their loved ones at the forefront of my mind. I cannot begin to imagine what they have gone through and I know that the issue of an undertaking will have caused them further anguish.
The undertaking I am providing to the Inquiry means it can continue to take evidence from witnesses who otherwise would likely refuse to answer questions. These questions are important to finding out the truth about the circumstances of the fire. The undertaking will not jeopardise the police investigation or prospects of a future criminal prosecution.”
A factsheet on what the undertaking means is attached.