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UK opposition leader slams Grenfell Tower fire response

20 June 2017, 05:21 | Max Haynes

Terror attacks and fire tragedy Britain's time of tumult

Terror attacks and fire tragedy Britain s time of tumult

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland). People protest demanding answers over the Grenfell Tower fire, in London, Friday June 16, 2017.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy told a press conference Monday that only five victims have been formally identified so far, and the death toll may change.

The confirmed death toll in the fire has risen to 30.

The queen said it was "difficult to escape a very somber mood" on what is normally a day of celebration.

The tragedy has only added to pressure on May to step down, after her decision to hold a snap election earlier this month ahead of Brexit talks backfired, weakening her party and leaving it unable to govern alone.

"Wallowing in the wash of a general election that stripped our prime minister of her authority on the very eve of European Union negotiations, neither common sense nor the evidence suggest she can re-establish public confidence", Matthew Parris wrote.

The group said: "In our meeting at Downing Street, we explained to the Prime Minister the anger of all residents towards the management of the estate over a long period of time, paving the way to this tragedy".

Angry crowds also stormed a local government office Friday, shouting, "We want justice" and demanding that authorities provide an accounting of the victims, as well as support for the survivors.

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said the Grenfell Tower disaster was a effect of years of neglect by politicians.

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Trade Minister Greg Hands and Treasury chief Philip Hammond said in separate TV appearances that the cladding used on Grenfell seems to be prohibited by British regulations.

After hosting some of the families of the victims and community leaders in No 10 yesterday, Mrs May acknowledged the response from authorities had been inadequate.

It is feared many are trapped inside the blazing building as the fire broke out in the wee hours of Wednesday.

He said: "The investigation is a police investigation".

Cundy promised an "exhaustive" criminal investigation into the fire that would also look at a major refurbishment of the building completed previous year.

Earlier this week, May was confronted by protesters furious over her handling of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

A short walk away, however, are apartments and houses that cost millions of pounds and are home to a wealthy elite that residents of the Grenfell Tower had seen as a world apart.

Mrs May has promised a public inquiry into the catastrophe, and also pledged £5 million (Dh23.5m) of support, housing guarantees and help with access to bank accounts and cash.



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