Grenfell inquiry panel member resigns over cladding link

27 January 2020 | By Neil Gerrard

Benita Mehra (Image: Womens' Engineering Society)

A member of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry panel has resigned amid her alleged links to Arconic, which supplied the aluminium composite (ACM) cladding on the building.

Benita Mehra resigned from her role last week after survivors of the disaster and the bereaved protested over her alleged links to Arconic.

Members of Grenfell United group discovered earlier this month that Mehra was president of the Women’s Engineering Society when the organisation received a £71,000 grant from Arconic’s philanthropic arm, the Arconic Foundation.

Mehra stressed that she had never spoken to anyone at the Arconic Foundation but admitted in a resignation letter to prime minister Boris Johnson, who formally appointed her, that she had made a “regrettable oversight” by not connecting the grant to the work of the inquiry.

In a statement reacting to the news, Grenfell United said: “Benita Mehra has done the dignified thing by resigning…However, the government should never had put families in this situation, they failed to carry out basic checks and understand the importance and sensitivities around a fair and proper process. We still have questions for both the Inquiry team and Cabinet Office to answer, as to how this situation was ever allowed to happen.”

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