Theresa May sidesteps questions about response to Grenfell Tower disaster


I have heard horrifying stories from the fire brigade, from police and from victims themselves who were in that tower but also from other local residents, some of whom of course have not been able to go back to their homes either.

Tory MP Chris Philp also defended the Prime Minister, telling BBC's Newsnight: "I'm not sure it was just security concerns, I think she was keen not to intrude and cause disruption at a time of intense anxiety and grief".

She said she has ordered daily progress reports on housing for those affected, and vowed the public inquiry into the disaster would be open and transparent.

"It's frustrating, I mean, we're talking about people's lives here".

But he said it was clear that action had been taken since Mrs May held her first meeting on Friday and her offer of support had gone some way to help reassure attendees that things were being done to help. There was passion, there was anger, but there was good, hard, reasoned argument used by the residents'.

Jeremy Corbyn has reiterated his suggestion that people left homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire could be housed in empty homes, saying the government has the means to seize property.

Dr Tomlin said he believed residents left the meeting feeling "reassured that they were listened to", but added: "Time will tell as to whether it makes a difference".

The Prime Minister insisted the Government was doing everything possible to help those caught up in the tragedy.

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It started with a fleeting visit from Prime Minister Theresa May, during which the prime minister failed to meet any of the survivors of the West London inferno.

Mr Lammy, who lost friend Khadija Saye in the blaze, said that after speaking to residents, suspicion of a cover-up is rising and Mrs May and investigators must ensure all pertinent documents are protected.

After a church ceremony to pay respect to those who died in the fire, London mayor Sadiq Khan said he found "a community frustrated and angry".

"Government is making money available, we are ensuring we are going to get to the bottom of what happened, we will ensure that people are rehoused, but we need to make sure that that actually happens".

There has been mounting anger among demonstrators, with dozens storming Kensington and Chelsea town hall on Friday afternoon, many shouting "we want an inquest" and "we want justice".

"At this stage, it is my grave concern that the families of Grenfell Tower will not get justice if documents are being quietly destroyed and shredded and emails are being deleted".

Mr Green said the Government expected to appoint a chairman to lead the public inquiry "in days rather than weeks".

Her government is trying to make up ground in reacting to a fire that trapped people in their beds in the early hours of Wednesday, with many unable to escape as the flames raced up the building, cutting off exit routes and forcing some to jump.