May faces cries of ‘shame on you’ during return visit to victims

Water is sprayed on Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 16, 2017. Seventeen people have died and more are feared dead after a huge fire destroyed the tower block in north Kensington. See PA story FIRE Grenfell. Photo credit should read: Rick Findler/PA Wire
Water is sprayed on Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 16, 2017. Seventeen people have died and more are feared dead after a huge fire destroyed the tower block in north Kensington. See PA story FIRE Grenfell. Photo credit should read: Rick Findler/PA Wire

Theresa May faced cries of “coward” and “shame on you” as she returned to Kensington to meet Grenfell Tower disaster victims.

The Prime Minister met the group of victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders at St Clement’s Church yesterday evening, close to the scene of the horrific blaze.

Protesters close to Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 16, 2017. See PA story FIRE Grenfell TownHall. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Protesters close to Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 16, 2017. See PA story FIRE Grenfell TownHall. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

There was a large police presence which had to hold back an angry crowd outside the church.

One woman wept saying it was because the Prime Minister declined to speak to anyone outside the meeting which lasted less than hour.

Police broke up a scuffle between members of the crowd as the Mrs May’s car drove off.

Elsewhere there was more public fury as hundreds of protestors surrounded Kensington Town Hall demanding answers.

Protesters outside Kensington town hall in west London, the headquarters of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, demanding answers over the Grenfell Tower disaster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 16, 2017. See PA story FIRE Grenfell TownHall. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Protesters outside Kensington town hall in west London, the headquarters of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, demanding answers over the Grenfell Tower disaster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 16, 2017. See PA story FIRE Grenfell TownHall. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Scores of demonstrators surged towards the building’s entrance and scuffles broke out outside as organisers appealed for calm.

Downing Street also announced a £5 million fund for emergency supplies, food and clothing.

At least 30 people have died but the death toll is expected to rise further with more than 70 people in total still believed to be unaccounted for.

Earlier in the day, Mrs May visited survivors in hospital, as allies defended her against claims that she was failing to engage with those affected by the tragedy.

Mrs May spent almost an hour speaking to patients and staff at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, a day after visiting the scene of the blaze in west London to talk to firefighters, police and other emergency workers.

In written statement issued after the meeting in Kensington, Mrs May said: “The individual stories I heard this morning at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital were horrific. I spoke with people who ran from the fire in only the clothes they were wearing.

“They have been left with nothing – no bank cards, no money, no means of caring for their children or relatives. One woman told me she had escaped in only her top and underwear.

“The package of support I’m announcing today is to give the victims the immediate support they need to care for themselves and for loved ones. We will continue to look at what more needs to be done.

“Everyone affected by this tragedy needs reassurance that the Government is there for them at this terrible time – and that is what I am determined to provide.”

The current death toll from the tragedy reached 30 yesterday, with dozens more missing feared dead.

It came as local authority the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) said displaced survivors face being moved away from friends and family to other parts of London after the fire which left the tower uninhabitable.

Police fear the blaze has been so devastating that some victims may never be identified. Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy said: “The building itself is in a very hazardous state. It is going to take a period of time for our specialists to fully search that building to make sure we locate and recover everybody that has sadly perished in that fire. We will be doing that as swiftly as we can.”

An investigation led by a senior detective from Scotland Yard’s homicide and major crime command is under way with calls for “corporate manslaughter” arrests to be made. Mr Cundy vowed police “will get to the answer of what has happened and why”, adding: “If criminal offences have been committed it is us who will investigate that.”

Twenty-four people are being treated in hospital, including 12 who are in critical care.

• Morning View, page 20