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'This is not okay': Theresa May faces criticism for not meeting Grenfell Tower fire survivors

A senior Labour MP has criticised Theresa May for not meeting survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster when she visited the scene.

The Prime Minister made a private visit to speak to the police officers and firefighters dealing with the aftermath of the blaze, but was not seen speaking to any of the families or residents affected.

Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman took to Twitter, saying it was "not okay" for her not to have met survivors.

"Theresa May should have met [the] Grenfell fire residents," she wrote.

"She should have been prepared to listen to them. Not OK to speak at them via TV."

By contrast, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was seen greeting residents and survivors, promising to "raise questions" in Parliament.

Downing Street insisted that the pupose of Mrs May's visit had been to get a briefing from the emergency services and ensure they had the resources they needed.

Theresa May made a private visit to speak to the emergency services Credit: PA

In a TV interview following the visit, she announced a public inquiry into the fire and promised all those left homeless would be rehomed nearby.

She was told some residents wished she had spoken to them and visited community centres offering support.

"Well, I visited the scene of this terrible fire this morning. I wanted a briefing from the emergency services," she replied.

"They've been working tirelessly in horrific conditions and I have been overwhelmed by their professionalism and their bravery.

"At times like this the response of the community has been extraordinary. It has shown the great spirit of the people in response to a tragedy such as this.

"The government stands ready to provide every assistance to the emergency services and the local authorities."

Jeremy Corbyn visited residents and survivors Credit: PA

Mr Corbyn was photographed with his arm around the shoulders of some local residents as he visited community centres.

He later issued a statement saying:

I feel very angry that it was possible for the fire to spread in the way it did. I feel very angry that so many lives have been lost when the system didn't work.

The many residents I met today are very angry too; their concerns about the building were not responded to and their questions were not answered.

They asked me to speak for them when I get back to Parliament and I will make sure I do, alongside their new MP Emma Dent Coad.

There are thousands of tower blocks around our country. Every single person living in one today will be frightened. They need answers to provide them with security and peace of mind.

– Jeremy Corbyn

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