The Mayor of London has called on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry to focus more on whether issues of race and poverty made the fatal fire more likely.

Sadiq Khan said the official investigation into the disaster is "sorely lacking" an analysis of "the role that discrimination and inequality played in this tragedy", adding his voice to similar calls made by campaigners and lawyers for the bereaved and survivors.

Mr Khan wrote to inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick on Wednesday calling for him to look at "wider questions about social housing and the treatment of tenants", said the London Mayor's office.

He also outlined concerns that "a diverse and representative panel is still not in place" and any further delay in finding a suitable expert will "erode trust" among the bereaved and survivors of the fire which killed 72 people in June 2017.

After proceedings conclude on Thursday, the inquiry will break for August and re-start in September.

Mr Khan said in a statement: "We must all do everything in our power to learn the lessons from Grenfell and prevent a similar disaster from ever happening again.

"This includes investigating the role that discrimination and inequality played in this tragedy - something sorely lacking from the inquiry so far.

"I believe it's crucial that we explore the issue of social housing in this country and I urge the Grenfell Tower Inquiry to give this greater attention when it reconvenes again in September.

"This inquiry provides an opportunity to bring about meaningful change to how residents are treated, and to ensure they can feel safe in their homes."

Earlier this month Leslie Thomas QC, representing a group of survivors and bereaved families, urged the inquiry to be "on the right side of history", adding: "Grenfell is inextricably linked with race."

Some 85% of the residents of the tower block who died on the night were from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, he added.

Separately, the Grenfell Next of Kin group has called for the inquiry to "investigate the extent of institutional racism as a factor" in the tragedy.

The hunt for a new panel member has been an issue for months, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying in February he was drawing up a shortlist as a "matter of urgency".

The post was due to be filled by engineer Benita Mehra but she resigned over links to the charitable arm of the firm which supplied the block's flammable cladding.

Her resignation came after bereaved and survivors of the fire questioned her impartiality when it emerged she was an immediate past president of the Women's Engineering Society, which has received funding from the Arconic Foundation, the charitable arm of Arconic.

The inquiry panel now consists only of retired appeal court judge Sir Martin and architect and health and safety expert Thouria Istephan.

By Thomas Hornall