Grenfell Tower fire: 'You do right by us and our children,' inquiry head told

25 May 2018, 19:02

The head of the Grenfell Tower inquiry has been urged by a bereaved family member to "do right by us and do right by our children".

Claudia Davis, the former partner of Steve Power, who died on the 15th floor, paid tribute to her "first love" on the fifth day of the inquiry.

Appearing frustrated, she made an impromptu statement at the end of the prepared tribute.

Pointing at Sir Martin Moore-Bick, head of the inquiry, she said: "Sir Martin, Theresa May and the rest of the government... You do right by us. And you do right by our children."

:: Grenfell: The victims

"I can't fight you, I can't knock on Theresa May's door," she added, urging him again: "Do right by us."

Sir Martin assured Ms Davis he would do his best.

It was a powerful day of testimony with lots of questions raised over how the fire and its aftermath were handled.

Assema Kedir Habib, sister of Hashim Kedir, 44, said her brother and his family were let down.

Mr Kedir, his wife Nura Jemal, and their three children - son Yahya, 13, daughter Firdaws, 12, and son Yaqub, six - died on the 12th floor of the tower block.

"Dying is one thing, how you die is another and how you are treated after you die is a third thing," said Mr Kedir's sister.

"Our family members were let down on all three levels.

"They were made to live in a chimney with a 'stay put' instruction hanging on the wall way before the fire.

"They were instructed repeatedly and for a long time to stay in their flat, although everyone understood, starting from the first 20 minutes of the fire, that the fire was far from usual.

"They were cremated unwillingly."

Bernard Richmond QC, counsel to the inquiry, asked for a breather after the statement. As he did so, a woman fell on her way out of the room.

She was given medical attention by paramedics outside.

Assema Kedir Habib said she was devastated she could not be there for her family.

"After we realised the heartbreaking fact, I had one hope: I hoped Yaqub was asleep that night and hadn't heard or felt anything."

But she said her family's 999 calls had proved her wrong. She heard her brother calling Yaqub's name, telling him to pray, telling him he loved him.

A video tribute about the family was played.

It showed the talented 12-year-old Firdaws on stage, singing Emeli Sande's Read all About It.

There was applause at the end of the video, with many people in the room in tears, some getting up to leave.

Another poignant tribute came from the mother of Faouzia El Wahabi, 41.

She died on the 21st floor with her husband Abdul Aziz and their three children, sons Medhi, eight, and Yasin, 20, and daughter Nur Huda, 15.

Through a statement read by a family member, her mother said: "How am I supposed to cope during the summer when everyone comes to see their family and I'll forever be waiting to see my beautiful daughter and my grandchildren walk through the door? My life is empty and my heart is broken."

Also remembered on Friday was Vincent Chiejina, 60.

Mr Chiejina's sister, Obi, paid tribute to him in a video, saying he used to look after her when their mother went to work.

The family of 12-year-old Jessica Urbano Ramirez also paid tribute.

"The tragedy took Jess away from us two weeks before her 13th birthday," her sister Melanie said, "two weeks before we could see her all dressed up".

Ligaya Moore, 78, died on the 21st floor. Her best friend, Nenita, gave a touching tribute.

"Nenita, take care of yourself. I love you," Ligaya had said to her.

"I love you too," Nenita responded.

Those were their last words to each other.