Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced that a public inquiry will be established to investigate the deaths of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack. The inquiry will be chaired by the Honourable Sir John Saunders, a retired High Court Judge who was nominated by the Lord Chief Justice to lead the investigation and inquest into the deaths at Manchester Arena.
The Home Secretary made the decision after careful consideration of advice from Sir John that inquest proceedings should be adjourned and an inquiry established to ensure that all relevant evidence can be heard.
Patel said: “It’s vital that those who survived or lost loved ones in the Manchester Arena attack receive the answers that they need and that we learn the lessons, whatever they may be. This process is an important step for those affected as they look to move on from the attack. I know that they want answers as quickly as possible.”
The Home Secretary added: “I’m determined to make this happen, while ensuring the proper processes are followed. Now that the coroner has decided that an inquest cannot properly investigate the deaths, I’ve agreed to establish an inquiry to consider all the information so that he can make appropriate recommendations.”
The inquiry to investigate the deaths of John Atkinson, Courtney Boyle, Kelly Brewster, Georgina Callander, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, Liam Curry, Wendy Fawell, Martyn Hett, Alison Howe, Megan Hurley, Nell Jones, Michelle Kiss, Angelika Klis, Marcin Klis, Sorrell Leczkowski, Lisa Lees, Eilidh MacLeod, Elaine Mclver, Saffie-Rose Roussos, Chloe Rutherford, Philip Tron and Jane Carolyn Tweddle in the horrific attack at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017 will have the same scope as the current inquest.
The specific arrangements for the inquiry will now be a matter for the chair. The Home Office will provide support and ensure that the inquiry has the resources that it needs.