07/18/2018 - Expert In Cladding Sacked From Grenfell Tower Inquiry

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster has terminated employment of its expert architectural witness after it emerged he was not a registered architect.

John Priestley, who was appointed on Wednesday to produce a report into the architectural design of the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, was sacked on Friday after it emerged he has not been registered with the professional architect's regulator since 2010..

He had been due to examine the selection of materials, the quality of the workmanship on the building and compliance of legislation and regulations. He was expected to draw up detailed technical evidence that would be relied on by the inquiry during its second stage, starting next spring, looking into the origins and causes of the fire on 14 June 2017, which claimed 72 lives.

The inquiry stated, Priestley told officials he was a UK registered and chartered architect. However, he was last registered with the professional regulator in 2010, the Architects Journal reported. Architects must pay an annual retention fee to remain on the register.

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information that Mr Priestley is not currently registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB), the inquiry has withdrawn his instruction as an expert witness."

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

The title "architect" is protected in the UK and can only be used by people registered with the regulator. Anyone found to be breaching these rules faces significant fines. The ARB said it would be taking action on the matter.

John Priestley's social/business media - LinkedIn profile says he has been providing expert advice in construction disputes since 1985 and has 'extensive technical knowledge and experience in all aspects of the building envelope and construction technology, including roofing, external walling, curtain walling and glazing, cladding' and other issues.