KPMG quits Grenfell Tower inquiry

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Some campaigns take a life time. Others yield quick results.

I mentioned yesterday that I was one of the initial signatories to a letter demanding that KPMG cease to be advisers to the Grenfell Tower inquiry because of their conflicts of interest. Last night, as the Guardian reports, they resigned:

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

A statement released on Sunday night said the decision was taken after concerns were raised by “core participants”. The news came hours after the firm was accused of a conflict of interest over its role advising the Grenfell inquiry, although it insisted there was none.

More than 70 individuals and organisations, including MPs Clive Lewis and Emma Dent Coad, academics and campaigners, sent an open letter to the prime minister calling on her to cancel the appointment of auditors KPMG to assist with the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

This matters for three reasons. First, the Grenfell Tower inquiry deserved objective advice and it is not clear that it could get it from KPMG.

Second, it matters because it reveals that KPMG, and the other Big 4 firms, are too big to avoid being riddled with conflicts of interest.

Third, it suggests that the idea that all expertise lies in such firms is a myth that needs to be challenged.

I welcome KPMG's resignation and applaud those who organised this letter.

I also now hope that the inquiry gets the advice it needs.