Grenfell Inquiry Dismisses 'Expert Architect'

TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2018

Just days after the officials leading London’s Grenfell Tower public inquiry appointed John Priestley an “expert architectural witness,” the decision was reversed after it came to light that Priestley lied about being a registered architect.

The Architect’s Journal reports that the Architects Registration Board launched an investigation after learning of the potential misuse of the title “architect” by Priestly, of John Priestly Associates.

(The title of “architect” is a protected term in the United Kingdom, and can legally only be used by those in the registry. Anyone caught breaching the rules faces significant fines.)

An ARB spokesperson told the Journal: “Based on the information available at this time, we have reason to believe the individual in question is Andrew John Priestley who first came on to the Architects Register in 1987, but has not been registered since 2010. We will be taking appropriate action in response to this matter.”

The Inquiry

The public inquiry is investigating the fatal fire that occurred in June 2017 that killed more than 70 people.

In terms of the inquiry, Priestly had been appointed to examine the choice of materials used in the Grenfell Tower refurbishment, look at compliance with legislation and regulations and also evaluate the quality of workmanship on the building. He was expected to draw up details that the inquiry had planned to rely on during its second stage, set to start in the spring.

“All expert witnesses instructed by the inquiry are expected to comply with any relevant provisions and professional codes of conduct,” an inquiry spokesperson said.

“Following the receipt of information that Mr. Priestley is not currently registered with the Architects Registration Board, the inquiry has withdrawn his instruction as an expert witness.”

There has been no word on who will replace Priestly as an expert architect for the inquiry, which started earlier this month.

After opening statements, focus quickly shifted to the subcontractors responsible for the tower’s refurbishment, with many of whom refusing to give statements to the council.


Tagged categories: Architects; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Ethics; Fire; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Safety

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