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  1. ITV Report

Grandfather of suspect speaks out about video of burning Grenfell Tower model

The grandfather of a suspect in a video showing the burning of a model of Grenfell Tower has spoken out.

David Connell has described the incident as “disgraceful” but has defended his 19-year-old grandson Bobbi Connell.

“If you watch the video, you'll see Bobbi is nowhere near when they put this thing on the fire. He's in the background. I watched it on my phone - he's in the background, I've checked it and checked it so many times. He’s in the background.”

“I don't want Bobbi involved in this because he wasn't involved in it - if you look closely at the video - you'll see Bobbi had nothing to do with it. It was all in the background”, he added.

Bobbi Connell and his father Clifford Smith. Credit: Facebook/Bobbi Connell

The Metropolitan Police searched a property on Tuesday in South Norwood in connection to a video showing the burning of a model of Grenfell Tower.

Evidence of a fire could be seen in the back garden of the house as well as a St Georges flag – a similar flag was visible in the video posted on social media.

Police officers searched bins under the front window and they took away two clear plastic bags appearing to contain gaffer tape and white tags.

The back garden of the searched property. Credit: PA

A 19-year-old man was arrested after he attended a south London police station on Tuesday.

It comes as five men handed themselves in to a south London police station on Monday night.

They were arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and taken into custody.

All six have been released under investigation.

The video appears to have been taken at a private party and shows the group laughing and joking as they watch the model, which is marked “Grenfell Tower”, go up in flames.

The cardboard structure shows paper figures at the windows with their arms in the air.

The back garden of the searched property. Credit: ITV News

The chairman of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick today said he was aware of the video and is “very pleased” the police are taking the matter seriously.

He said: “The inquiry is aware of the offensive video that was posted online yesterday.

”It must be shocking and distressing to all those involved, whatever way, whatever form their involvement, whether as bereaved survivors, or indeed as members of the wider community.“

Theresa May condemned the ”utterly unacceptable“ video, while Khadijah Mamudu, whose mother and younger brother escaped the fire, said the burning of the effigy was a ”vile act“.

Police officers searching bins at the property. Credit: PA

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation into the Grenfell Tower tragedy, said he was ”frankly appalled by the callous nature“ of the video.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton, who was at the scene of the harrowing blaze, said the video was ”appalling and disturbing“.

A total of 72 people perished as a result of the tragedy at the west London block on June 14 last year.