May meets London blaze victims amid rising anger

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London, June 17 (IANS) A day after protesters chastised her near the scene of the deadly Grenfell Tower disaster, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday met the victims and residents of the tower at 10 Downing Street.

Hundreds protested outside Downing Street for her removal shouting “May out!”. The embattled PM has been under relentless criticism since visiting and leaving the scene on Thursday without talking to any of those who had lost their homes in the blaze, the Daily Mail reported.

She then faced cries of “shame on you” and “coward” when she finally turned up to the scene of the disaster on Friday.

Police officers held back booing crowds and broke up scuffles as her vehicle drove off from a local church, where she had met survivors, residents and volunteers.

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At least 30 people have been confirmed dead and more than 70 are reportedly missing in the fire. The toll is expected to rise further, the report said.

“The Prime Minister is this morning chairing a cross-government meeting to ensure everything possible is being done to support those affected by the Grenfell tragedy,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

May’s meeting on Saturday with victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders came as Queen Elizabeth II marked her official birthday with a statement saying it was “difficult to escape a very sombre national mood.”

The Prime Minister has promised a full public inquiry and announced a fund of 5 million pounds ($6.4 million) to help those affected by the blaze.

But on Friday she continued to sidestep questions over whether she had failed to grasp the mood of the public by failing to meet residents in the fire’s immediate aftermath.

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The anger on the streets of London’s North Kensington has been growing. Residents furious over the handling of the Grenfell Tower disaster descended on the local town hall on Friday in west London, shouting, “We want justice”.

Some wore T-shirts with images of missing loved ones as they climbed the front steps and pushed their way into the building.

A second protest began later at Britain’s Home Office, which oversees fire prevention and policing nationally.

Organisers handed out fliers that read, “Your anger must be heard.” The protesters eventually made their way to busy Oxford Circus, where they staged a sit-in.



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