Hearings will restart next Monday at earliest

The inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster will not hear any more evidence this week, while a decision is made on the request by several witnesses for assurances that evidence they give will not be used to prosecute them.

Last week, inquiry chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick said plans to hear evidence from witnesses at the start of this week would be put on hold as a result.

The witnesses want the Attorney General to make a decision and an update from the inquiry today has said no evidence at all will be given this week.

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It said: "The panel is currently considering the application for an Attorney General's undertaking. The inquiry has written to core participants to inform them that no further hearings will take place this week."

A further announcement regarding the timetable will be made once the panel has issued its ruling on the application.

The witnesses attempting to apply for this waiver on their evidence have threatened to refuse to answer inquiry questions, citing laws guaranteeing people’s right not to incriminate themselves.

Witnesses from cladding subcontractor Harley, main contractor Rydon, architect Studio E and the tower’s tenant management organisation made an application to claim privilege against self-incrimination as a reason for not answering questions last Tuesday.

Jonathan Laidlaw QC, setting out the details of the request on behalf of the witnesses, said it was only individuals, not companies, that were seeking this waiver, and that they were not asking for immunity from prosecution.

At the time, Moore-Bick said: “This development has caused me a little surprise because hitherto there has been the fullest cooperation with the inquiry both in the form of giving written statements and in the provision of documents and no one so far has sought to avoid doing that or to answer any of our questions on those grounds.”

The witnesses who have applied for protection were involved in the design and choice of the materials which have been blamed for causing the 2017 fire which killed 72 people.