Grenfell inquiry severs ties with KPMG amid concerns over conflicts of interest

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File photo dated 15/06/2017 of Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building as the package of support for residents in flats neighbouring the tower is expected to cost in the millions, the council estimates.

The Grenfell Tower inquiry has cancelled its contract with auditors KPMG after concerns were raised about potential conflicts of interest.

The accountancy firm has previously been involved with Celotex, the company which supplied Grenfell Tower’s cladding, as well as the Rydon Group, the lead contractor in the buildings renovation three years ago.

A spokesperson for the inquiry said KPMG had been appointed to provide “limited planning and programme management” during its “start-up phase”.

A statement released by the inquiry said: “Following concerns expressed by some core participants, the inquiry team has discussed the contract with KPMG which has agreed that its work should now cease.

“The support and confidence of all core participants is integral to the work of the inquiry.”

KPMG said it was confident there were no conflicts of interest between its work for the inquiry and its other clients, although the firm recognised that “strength of opinion about our role risks undermining confidence”.

A spokeswoman for the firm said: “We have therefore mutually agreed with the inquiry that we will step down from our role with immediate effect.

“We were appointed to advise on structuring a project management office for the Grenfell Tower public inquiry.

“Our role was purely operational and advised on project management best practice and had no role advising on the substance of the inquiry. We will waive our fees for our work undertaken to date.”