Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Grenfell Tower fire: Protests as anger grows over disaster

  • ITV News report by Royal Editor Chris Ship

Protests have taken place in London demanding action in the wake of the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.

Demonstrators stormed Kensington Town Hall, shouting "we want justice".

As police tried to block them from accessing the upper floors of the building, people waved placards and shouted complaints about a perceived lack of response from the local authority.

"We want justice," the crowd chanted - before breaking into cries of: "Murderers, murderers".

Residents had sent a list of demands to the council, including the immediate rehoming of all people displaced by the fire within the borough; the release of funds to take care of the welfare of those affected; and a complete list of the residents known to live in the tower block.

Anger bubbled over as people gathered at Kensington town hall Credit: PA

A protester named Mustafa spoke to a crowd of hundreds via a megaphone and urged others to stay calm, beckoning them away from the front of the town hall building.

He read the council's response to each of the demands, after which people began chanting: "Not good enough."

The protesters managed to get inside the building Credit: ITV News

In a written response, a council spokesman said:

We plan to house residents of Grenfell Tower as locally as we can. But we may well need help from our close neighbours.

We want to rehouse people in a good home as quickly as we can. The council is committed to looking after the immediate and longer-term housing needs of all those affected by the fire.

We are already releasing funds to take care of the immediate needs of those affected as well as other support.

We are absolutely committed to supporting anyone affected in the days, weeks and months ahead.

But if you know of individuals or families who you feel aren't getting help, then please let us know so we can get help to them as quickly as possible.

– Council spokesman
Police officers tried to prevent the crowd from getting up the stairs Credit: ITV News

Mustafa then asked them to keep the protest peaceful, adding: "You have been amazing - please stay the amazing people that you are.

"Otherwise they will point the finger at you and me."

Some voiced anger that the official death toll has remained far lower than the figure to which many expect it to rise.

Hundreds of protesters fill the street in Ladbroke Grove Credit: PA

But many protesters continued the demonstration forward, marching towards Trafalgar Square and then to Regent Street.

They made their way to Oxford Street where they blocked the crossing with a sit-in protest.

Demonstrators block the road with a sit-in protest Credit: PA

Buses were temporarily stopped from moving as protesters sat in the middle of the road.

"We need answers and we need answers now," one man said through a megaphone.

As they walked, they chanted for justice, with tempers among pockets of the group at times threatening to boil over.

A vigil was held in Kensington where survivors, locals and friends laid flowers and lit candles in memory of those killed.

Brenda Mercer, 64, a member of the area's residents' association, said the community is struggling to grieve under the glare of the world spotlight.

Speaking on the eve of a vigil for those killed in the disaster, she said they would welcome the demolition of the charred tower as a chance to move on.

As darkness fell almost three days since the fire started, the roads of west London were still packed.

More on this story