KPMG quits Grenfell inquiry amid conflict of interest claims

Accountancy firm KPMG has quit its role as advisor to the inquiry into London’s Grenfell Tower blaze amid accusations of conflict of interest.

Campaigners said KPMG failed to disclose that it is auditor to three of the organisations under scrutiny following the catastrophic fire that killed 71 people on 14 June last year.

Its clients include Rydon Construction, which refurbished the tower in 2015, and Celotex, which manufactured insulation material used in the tower.

Another client is the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, owner of the tower.

Police are investigating 336 firms thought to be involved in the construction, refurbishment or management of the tower.

Manslaughter is among the offences that may be discovered, the Met said in September last year.

KPMG said it had "mutually agreed with the inquiry that we will step down from our role with immediate effect" BBC News reported.

The Pop star Lily Allen, two Labour MPs and a host of academics and campaigners had earlier signed an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to reverse KPMG’s appointment, saying it would "only further fuel rumours of a deliberate cover-up and erode public trust".

KPMG said its role on the inquiry as project management advisor was "purely operational" and that it had no role advising "on the substance of the inquiry".

"Whilst we are confident that no conflicts exist between our role advising the inquiry and our work for other clients, we recognise that strength of opinion about our role risks undermining confidence in the Inquiry," a spokesperson told media.

The firm said it would waive its fees for the work undertaken to date.

Image: Grenfell Tower after the blaze: Police are investigating 336 firms involved in the construction, refurbishment or management of the tower (Wikimedia Commons)

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