Tory donor was key shareholder in Grenfell cladding firm Arconic. A major shareholder in Arconic, the company that made Grenfell Tower’s combustible cladding, donated nearly £25,000 to Boris Johnson and the Conservative party, it has emerged. The bereaved and survivors on Tuesday night called on the prime minister to return the money to Elliott Advisors UK, the British arm of a US private equity company that has a 10% holding in the $14bn (£10.4bn) annual turnover business.
“The Conservatives and the prime minister should return this money,” said Karim Mussilhy, the vice-chairman of the survivors’ group Grenfell United, who lost his uncle, Hesham Rahman, in the fire. “How can we trust this government to deliver truth, justice and change when they themselves, including the prime minister, take donations from one of Arconic’s major shareholders. Right now Arconic is getting away with not cooperating fully with the inquiry and the government appears not to be doing enough. Is this cosy relationship one of the reasons?”
Witnesses from Arconic, based in France, are refusing to give evidence to the inquiry despite having been called to do so next month. They have cited an obscure French law in justification, though the French government said it did not apply.
The bereaved and survivors have been lobbying the UK government to put pressure on the French authorities to ensure the Arconic witnesses testify. On 15 December, the inquiry said Claude Wehrle, who used to work for Arconic, and Gwenaëlle Derrendinger, who still does, were still refusing to attend. The inquiry is in discussions with Peter Froehlich, another former employee in Germany, about whether he will appear. Read the full, disgaceful story here Guardian