In Brief

Grenfell Tower project manager “binned” notebooks detailing the building's refurbishment

London

20 October 2020

The Grenfell inquiry has heard how a project manager who worked on the building's refurbishment “binned” all of her notebooks pertaining to the project, despite knowing that a public inquiry and police investigation were under way following the June 2017 fire that caused 72 deaths.

Claire Williams worked at the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), which managed Grenfell Tower, between 2013 and May 2018. Williams told the inquiry that she binned her notebooks when she “tidied up the desk” before leaving.

Williams told the inquiry: “If the police didn’t take them, I binned them[...] Everything that was in there I would have thought is actually documented elsewhere. I think I just tidied up the desk. I would have looked at them and thought ‘there’s nothing here that isn’t in formal evidence’, and so I got rid of them.”

When questioned as to whether she had told London's Metropolitan police that she had destroyed documents relevant to their inquiries, Williams replied that it hadn't occurred to her to do so. “Today’s the first time I’ve ever really had a conversation about this,” she said.

Williams said: “There was nothing underhand about it. I was clearing my desk, I looked and decided that everything that was in there was formally represented in minutes or other paperwork and it was of little value.

“It wasn’t a conscious, hiding anything decision, it was, ‘I’m clearing my desk.’ I put them in the bin.”