PM faces cries of 'coward' as she leaves meeting with Grenfell Tower fire victims


Theresa May faced cries of "coward" and "shame on you" as she left a meeting with the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

It came as Downing Street announced a £5 million emergency fund for supplies, food and clothing for all those affected by the devastating blaze.

The Prime Minister returned to Kensington shortly before 5pm on Friday for a meeting with survivors, residents, volunteers and community leaders at St Clements Church, close to the wreckage of the high-rise tower.

A large police presence struggled to hold back an angry crowd which surrounded her car as she left the meeting, as people shouted and tried to follow the car, and at one point broke up a scuffle which broke out between people in the crowd.

In tears, one woman said it was because the PM had declined to speak to anyone outside the meeting.

Mrs May has faced severe criticism for not visiting victims and survivors sooner.

Before the meeting at the church, she visited those still being treated in hospital on Friday afternoon - after the Queen and Prince William had visited a rest centre helping those affected, and a day after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had been to the scene to speak to both victims and volunteers.

Police battled to hold back the crowd Credit: PA

Included in the package of support was:

  • A pledge to rehome all those displaced by the fire within three weeks at the most, and as close as practically possible to where they had been living.

  • The cost of temporary accommodation will be paid for until then.

  • Financial assistance so that families do not have to pay out more in travel costs due to the move; as well as paying for funerals.

  • Families will be consulted on the scope of the public inquiry announced.

  • Families' legal costs as part of the inquiry will be covered.

In an interview following the announcement, Mrs May said she had been moved by the stories of the survivors.

"This morning I was in one of the hospitals, meeting some of the victims there, and one of the women said to me that basically she ran out of Grenfell Tower in just a T-shirt and a pair of knickers," she said.

"That's why the government is putting that funding in. But there are other things we'll do as well, to provide support for people, to ensure they're rehoused within three weeks."

Elsewhere, hundreds of people demonstrated outside Kensington Town Hall demanding answers and action to help those affected.

A number of people stormed the building as anger spilled over at the perceived lack of response from the local authority.

The official death toll has been put at "at least 30" - but police have warned the figure is likely to rise significantly, with more than 70 believed to be unaccounted for.