Analysis comment Exclusive

Excl: Grenfell inquiry panellist steps down after Unite threatens judicial review – media ignore union role

Panellist’s organisation had received tens of thousands of pounds from cladding firm

The media have reported this weekend that controversial panellist Benita Mehra was stepping down from the Grenfell inquiry after it was revealed that an organisation she ran had received over £70,000 from Arconic, the firm that installed the cladding.

Activists had been outraged by Boris Johnson’s appointment of Mehra to a panel advising the inquiry as it prepared to examine “decisions which led to the installation of a highly combustible cladding system”.

However, none of the media appear to have covered – except in vague terms of ‘increasing pressure’ on Johnson – a key factor in Johnson’s decision to announce Mehra’s resignation from the panel.

Last week, the Unite union published a press release demanding Mehra’s withdrawal – but the SKWAWKBOX can reveal that the union had threatened a judicial review of her participation if she did not step down.

Unite’s role has been conveniently ignored in coverage of the resignation by media that routinely publish information they hope will be damaging to unions – but the reality is that the UK and Ireland’s biggest union stood squarely by the Grenfell bereaved families and survivors in forcing Johnson to climb down.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. Nothing to see here eh? The whole thing is a disgrace when was a party leader properly elected to office made to re-stand for a second time because the PLP decided they didn’t like him especially considering he got the biggest ever majority, the Blairites stupid joke of putting him on the list blew up in their faces but hey they got rid of him eventually by sabotaging the party in the last GE never a thought for the membership or the country as a whole.

  2. It is an absolute disgrace that Benita Mehra was appointed to the inquiry in the first place given her clear conflict of interest. It also shows, at best, a lack of judgement on her part that she accepted the appointment despite her conflict of interest. Unfortunately she has compromised the integrity of the inquiry and probably set it back months.
    Since the the government which set up the inquiry and the individual concerned were initially unwilling to do the right thing it is fortunate that Unite was on hand and threatening to launch a judicial review of Benita’s appointment otherwise she would not have stepped down and her inappropriate membership of the panel would have continued.
    Well done Len and Unite.

    1. It is an absolute disgrace that Benita Mehra was appointed to the inquiry in the first place given her clear conflict of interest. It also shows, at best, a lack of judgement on her part that she accepted the appointment despite her conflict of interest.

      It’s nothing new. Look at may’s appointments over Grenfell, the CSA inquiry and just about everything else including the honours list.. It’s an insult to people’s intelligence that they persist in employing these conflicts of interest, thinking that the people won’t notice or won’t mind.

      I wonder if these peopl/establishment figures are renumerated/compensated even after being found to be wholly unsuitable for their positions. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

  3. Typical choice of appointee and just as well it was caught out and removed. Expect more of the same in the future under Tory zero accountability rule. In the run up to the 2019 General Election no one talked about Boris Johnson’s own disgraceful role in the Grenfell fire tragedy as that subject was strictly off limits. He ordered huge cutbacks of the London Fire Brigade making them less prepared, less well equipped and less trained with fewer firemen to cope with a massive London blaze. His callous actions cost lives and that message needs to be heard loud and clear.

    Will Judicial review be neutered by Boris and his toxic Tory team? They will certainly do their very best to make sure that such serious embarrassments and impediments to their stranglehold on power do not interfere with their bold new vision for a political dictatorship. It is totally dilusional to think that there will be another chance to fight an election in five years time: do not count on it. All of the plans Boris has revealed so far, plus deeply concerning pledges on page 48 of the Tory Manifesto, warn of a dictator’s rise to power; once he is securely in place it will take decades to remove him.

    I am not convinced that this election was won fair and square in a Tory “Landslide” victory; it just does not make logical sense at all. I am so disheartened to hear Labour MPs forced into humiliating admissions of their role in the massive defeat; they are just, once again, facilitating the BBC and MSM in bedding in their blatant propaganda. I am sickened by the betrayal of Labour Party MPs breast-beating over the fake-news on anti-Semitism and the doorstep doom with gushing admissions of how Corbyn was not liked, despite the evidence of huge cheering crowds singing to him.

    Labour Party members are too busy eating their socks to get their boots on and start marching! Wake up and smell the coffee: you have been coned and you need to fight back right now before it is too late. I do not buy the crap that those subsisting on zero hours contracts or facing job loss, destitution, food banks, eviction and watching their children starve prioritized Brexit over their own survival under another decade of Tory exploitation and crippling austerity. This defies human nature and self-preservation. They could easily have supported Labour for a safer path to Brexit that did not risk workers rights or the wellbeing of their families. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s not a giraffe!

    Once again there are far too many Labour supporters ready to believe this ongoing moronic propaganda. The BBC is ignoring the Tory win to obsess over Labour’s defeat for a very good reason: they need to keep you fooled so you continue to believe that the unfathomable election result was actually credible when, in reality, it defies basic logic. In a Discussion Forum on Craig Murray’s blog, a number of us are going over the unexplained election result anomalies and strong indications that the vote was rigged mainly through Idox manipulation of the Postal Vote. To find out more visit the Elections Aftermath forum and consider following the link on this forum to my Petition on AVAAZ:

    1. Your comments about the postal vote in particular ring very true because they tie in with Laura Kuenssberg’s comments about the results of the postal votes before the election had even taken place. Such a reference to postal ballot results is illegal but no action was taken against her. It also indicates there was prior knowledge of the outcome of the postal vote in some quarters – again this knowledge could only have been obtained through illegal actions of one kind or another.

      1. Brian – I am hugely frustrated to discover that a Google search does not link to my petition. Today is a little better as adding the word AVAAZ has finally managed to pull up the link. Does Google have an agenda? If you search with “duckduckgo” or “Bing” with the title or just “2019 Tory Landslide Victory” it is at the top of the search page.

        I worded the title to make even Tory supporters question the legitimacy of this election result. Even those who might claim this was the right result must be made fully aware of the dangerous flaws in the security of our Electoral System. This has been stated by well respected judges as open to fraud on an “industrial scale!” That is the focus of my petition: fix the system, restore appropriate oversight and convince us all that the 2019 election was not rigged.

        I am not well connected on Social Media, twitter or on Facebook so I need your all the help I can get. The long link is:

      2. The Petition is no longer invisible in a Google search. Now just he first few words: “2019 TORY LANDSLIDE VICTORY DEMANDS” put it at the top of the search page. This is a huge relief as there are more people signing now they can find the petition. Perhaps we need a new Hashtag: #TORYRIF2019

      3. Brian – That was a brief reprieve as Google now seems to be burying my petition. I am again extremely frustrated to discover that a Google search does not link to my petition. Earlier today it was coming up if I added the word “AVAAZ” now even with “AVAAZ Petition” there is no link despite wading through pages of totally unrelated material. Google really does have a dodgy agenda!

        I am not at all tech savvy so I do not understand why the link does not appear on a Google search. Also it would help if I could post the picture from my Petition with a link so that it came up in an image search, but I do not know how to do this; can anyone advise? Please post the link for me and consider adopting that Hashtag: #TORYRIG2019

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: