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tv   Newsnight  BBC News  June 29, 2017 11:15pm-12:00am BST

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the question is whether this is to be an inquiry into the fire, or into the dysfunctions of a society that allowed the fire to happen. we'll ask what it will take for the inquiry to earn the confidence of those affected by it. feeling like you haven't had a pay rise in a while? can the chief economist at the bank of england explain what's been going on? 20 years ago he was waving goodbye to the british colony. today, the last governor of hong kong gives us his view on sino—british diplomatic relations, and has this to say about the chinese ambassador. you should feel rather sad for him because he's been here several years and he doesn't know the difference between democracy and a wet haddock. hard to believe but the iphone is about to be ten years old. it's undeniably useful, but how do we really feel about being electronically tagged? it's like a really narcissistic, clingy girlfriend who always wants my attention! hello.
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everybody thinks we need to learn the lessons from the grenfell tower fire. and responsibility for drawing up the right lessons rests primarily on the shoulders of one man — sir martin moore—bick, a 70—year—old former commercial lawyer and appeal courtjudge. he went to the site of the fire today and met residents, which sounds fine. but — and it's a big one — he then downplayed expectations of what his inquiry might cover and how quickly it could report. now, i'm well aware that the residents and the local people want a much broader investigation and i can fully understand why they would want that. whether my inquiry is the right way in which to achieve that i'm more doubtful, and i'll give that some thought and in due course make a recommendation, but there may be other ways in which that desire for an investigation can be satisfied otherwise than through the work i'm going to do. well, after the inadequacy
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of the early response to the fire, and the problems in the child abuse inquiry, it is going to be pretty important for this one to have the confidence of the survivors of the fire and the families of the deceased. and they do not merely want another review of cladding. they think they were ignored when they were warning of problems. for them, this is a case of the authorities on trial. for them, those authorities give the impression of running from questions. to make that point, tonight a meeting of the cabinet of the kensington and chelsea council collapsed in disarray, as the leader left with his colleagues after the press were allowed in. that was after having secured an injunction to watch proceedings. that was nothing whatsoever to do with the new inquiry chair, but has sir martin moore—bick lost the confidence of the locals already? with me now are residents of the estate of the grenfell tower thomasina hessel and joe delaney. and former lord chancellor charlie falconer.
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welcome. i know you were in the meeting with the judge today. yes, he held a few. i was in the first he held at 10am. what was your first impression? he's a nice guy but he didn't inspire any confidence, to be honest. i was a bit sceptical when his name was leaked in the press, in the media, last night. i was doing some research on him. the cases he was involved in did not inspire confidence in me either. but you met him and he knew he had a job to sell himself to you to some extent, i'm sure. what did he say that gave you reservation? for a start, he seems to already be saying that the terms of the inquiry would be extremely narrow, and yet supposedly they haven't been decided or solidified yet. so that gave us a big concern. his background gave me the concern. insurance and commercial law. that doesn't inspire confidence in me at all. what other questions you feel
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an inquiry needs to look at that you feel might be brushed aside? well, it seems thisjudge is giving us the impression it's going to be just about what started the fire and what caused it, but we want to know what led to it as well. so, you know, the circumstances, the political things that allowed the cladding to go on. the regulations. notjust the cladding but whose job it was to get it right? absolutely. what is the fear here? are people worried about a cover—up? is that your fear? it's notjust my fear, it's the fear of everyone. i'm not a conspiracy theorist but the way the authorities have been behaving since the beginning of this tragedy is appalling and it has appalled my neighbours. there was absolutely no response on the ground on the first night. the fire crews couldn't
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get to the location, they couldn't put out the fire because they didn't have the correct equipment. some of them then ran into the tower block without gas masks or helmets on because they were so keen to get up. it's a litany of failures and it's gone back several years. we do feel there has been a managed decline. there was application for demolition of the tower in 2014 so we do feel they wanted us out anyway. all of that should be in the view of the inquiry. yes. it seems they were negligent because they didn't want us there anyway. but they had renovated it? but that is because it was an eyesore for those in the area. charlie falconer, there is an enormous amount of suspicion. trust is the most important thing. what was your reaction when the judge came out and said he was going to disappoint the residents with the scope of his inquiry?
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i'm worried about that and what these two are saying about the scope of the inquiry seems to me to be absolutely right. it can't be, to use your language, tojust be a review of the cladding. it has to go right back to explain how we ended up both with some regulations that don't appear to be effective, and also even if the regulations were effective, and i don't know if they were all weren't, how were they enforced? if the terms of reference don't allow the legitimate questions that tomassina has raised about the build up over time of the situation and then thatjoe has raised about, how did the emergency services proved to be so ill—equipped to deal with the fire, then i would agree with both of them. the terms of reference have been set. —— the terms of reference haven't been set. and they are right in the way
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they are putting it. i thought the issue was about, you know, going right back into the political system, which the judge can't deal with, but both the areas that these two are dealing with are the right areas to focus on. i understand what joe is saying about the insurance and commercial background. i don't know him personally but i've worked with him over 30 years. he is a man who will be able to deal with what will inevitably be a whole range of vested interests, like national government, the local authority, trying to make it as complicated as possible. you need somebody who is both sympathetic and gets the trust of the people but also is able to cut through it. this is the problem i'm facing. we've put out a statement to theresa may to consult us with the appointment of the judge. she hasn't consulted us or responded to us and it looks like a foregone conclusion that she's done this. that is very interesting. what is the normal procedure? is there some legal principle that
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you don't talk to victims in the picking of the judge? the normal principle, and with the judge in a court case, is that you can't negotiate with the parties, and this is not a court case but it is one where it is an inquiry with a judge appointed in effect by the lord chiefjustice. if there is a problem with the judge then he should be replaced but my own view, and you've got the broad scope right, and if that is not reflected in the terms of reference it would be a problem, but give sir martin moore—bick a chance. he said he didn't feel that those issues could be covered. why was that going to inspire confidence? he didn't sell us to a single one of us. there were ten of us there. the more i found out, the less i am willing and able, and the nail in his coffin
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was his decision in the westminster case, where he sent that poor family to milton keynes. did you go in open—minded, though? you don't know what the legalities of that case were, so did you go in open—minded? i went in in the way anyone would go in. i had questions and i expected honest answers, and the answer is, i believe they were honest, but i don't believe they were satisfactory. i understand what you are saying. i ask you to give him a bit more of a chance. i understand you are suspicious... it's not only him who is the problem. it's theresa may. she hasn't responded and it seems she's already decided, and that makes us believe that the terms of reference have already been decided as well. we don't want a taylor inquiry. it ensured loudspeakers were loud enough to be heard everywhere, very sensible conclusions
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on a technical standpoint. did it lead to any prosecutions? it didn't. what does he need to do? he's got to get your confidence and that means listen to what you're saying. what i've heard tonight is reasonable about what the terms of reference should be, and then he's got to deliver quickly a good report that explains right from the beginning enjoy living life on the edge? well, think about joining the government. as expected, it managed to get its queen's speech through the commons today, but the margin was inevitably fine. the ayes to the right, 323, the noes to the left, 309. so the ayes have it, the ayes have it. unlock! order! iii—vote majority. a measure of how easily business can be disrupted. and for confirmation,
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there was the fact that to get the queen's speech through unscathed, the government had to accept a proposal from stella creasy offering taxpayer—funded abortions in england for women from northern ireland. bstfifiéfif'fimps'sufifiéfity'héié leeefeege ~ money to meet their requests. but today was also awkward for labour, with several shadow ministers being sacked and one resigning. we're all struggling to get used to this new normal. nick watt watched the day at westminster. let's talk about labour first, because we all thought it was rosy in the house of labour at the moment! yes, we thought the focus would be solely on theresa may and then jeremy corbyn ended up sacking three of his frontbenchers. the reason for that was because they had defied the labour leadership to table an amendment put forward by chuka umunna, which would have committed the uk to remaining in the single market and customs union. this was roundly defeated by 10! to 322 after labour whips instructed their mps to abstain.
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i've picked up quite a lot of anger amongst pro—european labour mps. they say this was a vanity vote by chuka umunna that handed a gift to brexiteers, who say look at the heavy defeat. and these pro—european labour mps also say, why did he have to table this amendment when the official labour one called on the government to negotiate the exact same benefit on the customs union and single market. but they are defiant, saying their tactics today were about putting pressure on the labour leadership to go one step further and agree with them that the uk should remain in the customs union and single market. 0k. interesting day for labour. what about the tories? it was a pretty fine margin to get your queen's speech through. as you say, the magic number for theresa may is 14. that's the majority she had in the final vote that established and entrenched her government.
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that's what she got after her deal with the dup. i spoke to one senior tory who said to me, that's hardly a respectable majority but it is a workable one and the government can carry on. but the rapid move and announcement by the government that it would fund abortions in england for women from northern ireland illustrates a crucial point about this government. if you can muster all the opposition parties and then persuade to seven tory mps to join you, then theresa may has to act, and supporters of a so—called soft brexit, they had a setback today but they hope that that point will eventually work in their favour. thank you. the backdrop to all this is a sense of national frustration, to which mps want to respond. that's perhaps why we're in hung parliament territory at all. and when we look at what makes people frustrated, it's perhaps the fact that living standards are stagnant. in short, britain is tired of austerity and wants a pay rise. and that's not surprising given
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the long squeeze on wages that we've been living through. we'll hear what the bank of england says about that shortly, but first our business editor helen thomas sets out what we know — and don't — about pay. sometimes it feels like everything in the world of work is speeding up. the mantra is do more, and more quickly. the public sector pay cap is hitting recruitment and retention right across the public sector. it has been a week of political wrangling over whether the cap on public sector pay rises should be lifted but this is notjust about the public sector, it is about the whole economy. here is real wage growth, pay rises adjusted for inflation, and slumped after
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the financial crisis. very low inflation meant a better time around 2015.
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