Manchester Arena attack inquiry: Union asked for views

  • Published
Top (left to right): Lisa Lees, Alison Howe, Georgina Callender, Kelly Brewster, John Atkinson, Jane Tweddle, Marcin Klis, Eilidh MacLeod - Middle (left to right): Angelika Klis, Courtney Boyle, Saffie Roussos, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, Martyn Hett, Michelle Kiss, Philip Tron, Elaine McIver - Bottom (left to right): Wendy Fawell, Chloe Rutherford, Liam Allen-Curry, Sorrell Leczkowski, Megan Hurley, Nell JonesImage source, Family handouts
Image caption,
Top (left to right): Lisa Lees, Alison Howe, Georgina Callender, Kelly Brewster, John Atkinson, Jane Tweddle, Marcin Klis, Eilidh MacLeod - Middle (left to right): Angelika Klis, Courtney Boyle, Saffie Roussos, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, Martyn Hett, Michelle Kiss, Philip Tron, Elaine McIver - Bottom (left to right): Wendy Fawell, Chloe Rutherford, Liam Allen-Curry, Sorrell Leczkowski, Megan Hurley, Nell Jones

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has been asked to submit its views on how the fire service response to the Manchester Arena bombing could have been improved.

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the public inquiry into the attack, wants more information on its application for "core participant status".

If approved, the FBU would have the same rights at the inquiry as the police and the government.

The inquiry into the 2017 bombing is due to start in September.

Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds injured when Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a suicide bomb as fans left an Ariana Grande concert at the arena on 22 May 2017.

Image source, GMP
Image caption,
Hashem Abedi's sentencing has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak

The inquiry will examine the background to the attack and emergency responses.

In a ruling, Sir John said he had given "considerable thought to how I should deal with this matter while being fair to all parties, achieving the best result for the inquiry and avoiding unnecessary costs".

"I consider that the best way to deal with the matter at the moment is that I should invite the FBU to provide me with a statement setting out their views as to the way in which the response of the fire service could have been improved and whether recommendations should be made or whether the existing changes made following the Kerslake report are sufficient."

He added his view at present was not to grant core participant status to the FBU.

The application was submitted four months after the deadline and "no adequate reason" had been given for the delay, Sir John said.

In April, he turned down an application for core participant status from a group of survivors, who are now taking legal action.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.