‘Coward’ shouted as May meets fire victims

16 Jun

Mrs May had received criticism after visiting the scene of the blaze on Thursday, but failing to meet any of the survivors.

She returned to the site today, this time meeting victims and residents, but was met with cries of “coward” and “shame on you” as she left under heavy police escort.

The PM leaves St Clement's Church in west London under police escort
Image:
The PM leaves St Clement’s Church in west London under police escort

During her visit – which lasted less than an hour – she also spoke to volunteers and community leaders at St Clement’s Church.

:: PM pledges to rehouse survivors within three weeks

One woman wept, saying it was because the Prime Minister had declined to speak to those waiting outside to speak to her.

A man in the crowd commented: “What did she bring, what useful things did she bring? The tower block is more strong and stable than that woman’s government.”

Dozens of people appeared to push and shove each other outside the town hall
Image:
Dozens of people appeared to push and shove each other outside the town hall

Scuffles broke out in the crowd as the Prime Minister’s car drove away from the scene of the disaster.

In an interview, the Prime Minister was questioned over whether there was a need for the Government to accept some responsibility for what had happened.

“Something terrible has happened,” she answered.

“This is an absolutely awful fire that took place. People have lost their lives, people have had their homes destroyed, they have fled for their lives with absolutely nothing.”

Asked if she had misread the public anger, she replied: “What I have done since this incident took place is, first of all, yesterday ensure that the public services had the support they need in order to be able to do the job they were doing in the immediate aftermath.”


The Prime Minister insists that all necessary action will be taken over how to deal with the Grenfell Tower fire

Video:
‘If action needs to be taken, we will take it’

Dozens of protesters stormed the town hall on Friday shouting “we want justice” and “not 17” – referring to the previously announced official number of dead, which has now risen to 30.

Sky News understands that around 70 people are missing, feared dead.

Organisers appealed for calm as hundreds of people – some of them holding posters of the missing – surrounded the building demanding answers from the council over the deaths.

During Mrs May’s visit the Government announced that a £5m fund would be made available to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs.

Earlier in the day, Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom had visited west London, where she was repeatedly challenged by angry residents, some who yelled: “Meet the victims!”

She was forced to answer questions over why the Prime Minister hadn’t met survivors during her earlier visit.


Video:
Furious tower residents collar minister

Nadir, 24, who has friends in Grenfell Tower, said: “At least she (Theresa May) could’ve met the victims, (Jeremy) Corbyn was a good man… he came and met the people.

“He didn’t come with a bunch of police… no one even saw her.”

While denying the row represented a threat to Mrs May’s leadership, Mrs Leadsom admitted that the Prime Minister was “trying to get a grip” of the situation.

She went on to say that anger at the disaster was “totally understandable”, and that ministers were looking at both “quick wins” and “longer-term policies”.

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